Yggdrasil's WN Library

Self-Destructive Group Behaviors

Lesson Nine

Yggdrasil says:

In lesson eight, we considered violent crime as a neutral index of racial hostility. If members of one group assault members of another disproportionately, then it is strong evidence that the group as a whole engages in racial aggression. Ultimately this type of aggression provokes a response.

Similarly, block voting is a symptom of racial aggression. While non-racially motivated groups split on the merits of an issue or candidate, the racially motivated group will vote 80% or more in favor of the candidate that will shift the most resources in its favor. Again, this is a symptom of racial aggression, and will provoke a response.

One clear symptom of racially motivated block voting is the election or reelection of candidates jailed for crimes. This is also a type of self destructive behavior, and is the subject of this week's lesson.

If a racial group lives within its own borders and governs itself, then it can choose from among competing candidates on their individual merits. But if the racial group fears losing representation to a member of a different race within the multi- racial empire, then it will vote for the candidate of its own kind even if that candidate is a criminal. Democracy is not supposed to work that way. Racial groups are better off with their own nations, where their racial feelings will not cause them to corrupt their own governments.

James Baldwin, an early writer of the civil rights era noted the phenomenon of self-destructive behavior of minorities in his book "The Fire Next Time" when he spoke of the "slowdown".

Blacks will slow down their work effort to avoid conferring an economic benefit on a white employer, as a method of protest, according to Baldwin. But by deliberately lowering their own performance, blacks make other participants in the economy much less inclined to hire them. This is powerful self-destructive behavior.

Impoverishing your own race hardly seems a rational way of punishing some other race. But that is the destructive power of the multi-racial empire.

It is time to stop deceiving ourselves with myths about the destructive power of "white racism". All multi-racial empires around the world suffer the same dysfunction. The problem is with the multi-racial empires, not with the members of any particular group within those empires. Self-determination is the solution.

Excerpts from five articles have been reprinted this week to illustrate this concept with specific examples. Perhaps the saddest is from an article about Evanston High in suburban Chicago.

As you read these examples, ask yourself whether the multi-racial empire is humane.

Yggdrasil recommends that you read the following:

June 25, 1991 Wall Street Journal P A16
Memories of Marion



* * *

"Marion Barry: The Politics of Race"

By Jonathan I.Z. Agronsky

Except for a little riot a while back, civic life has been eerily quiet for Washingtonians since the public demise of Marion Barry. Our new mayor, following Mr. Barry's 12 unbroken years of sleaze and dissembling, has shown herself to be an intelligent public servant who sets high standards of integrity and competence, which she in turn expects each and every employee of the District of Columbia to meet.

And it is a drag. Already some of us pine for the days, not so long ago, when reading the metro sections of the local papers offered the same roller-coaster dramatics as "General Hospital" or "Days of Our Lives," even if the story line always seemed less plausible. Sex, drunkenness, venality, a daisy chain of back- stabbing. Mr. Barry's administration was riveting. We therefore owe a debt of gratitude to Jonathan I.Z. Agronsky, whose "Marion Barry: The Politics of Race" (British American Publishing, 380 pages, $21.95) serves as a useful concordance to our memories of the most entertaining and cynical American politician since William Marcy Tweed.

* * *

To be fair, this is a larger task than you might think, for Mr. Barry's public career - in fact, he never had a private one - stretches back 30 years. After a fatherless childhood in rural Mississippi and Memphis, Tenn., Mr. Barry first made the papers in the early days of the civil rights movement, as a founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. At lunch counters he was spat upon and drenched in ketchup by local cretins. He took a brief detour into academic life working toward a graduate degree in chemistry and later accepting a teaching job at the University of Kansas at Lawrence. He lasted a month in the Midwest.

* * *

"He was hitting on everybody in those days," a colleague notes." His first marriage, in 1962, did nothing to cool his ardor, and his frequent travels allowed him to perfect the bird-dogging skills that later dazzled the waitresses and exotic dancers in Washington. They were not the only ones bedazzled. When Mr. Barry moved to the city in 1965 as an "organizer" for SNCC, he immediately sensed that Washington~s ruling elite-affluent white liberals who had flattered themselves into believing they were guilt ridden was likewise ripe for plucking.

At this point in his narrative Mr. Agronsky kindly refers to the future mayor's "grantsmanship"; readers more familiar with the ways of the welfare state will recognize it as "poverty pimping." With his second wife, Mary Treadwell Barry, and a man aptly named Catfish, he founded an organization dedicated to "catalyzing" black capitalism. The Johnson and Nixon administrations were so taken with Mr. Barry's commitment to self-help that they gave him more than $10 million in federal money over the next few years. In between fact-finding missions to the Caribbean, Mrs. Barry bought a new Mercedes for herself and a new Volvo for her less ostentatious husband. This is nice work if you can keep out of jail, which Mrs. Barry couldn't. After Marion divorced her, she was convicted and imprisoned for misappropriation of funds.

No scandal could dim the establishment's affection for Mr. Barry. Fifteen months after assaulting a police officer and starting a brawl in a station house, he was asked by the department to help recruit police officers. The Volvo was constantly festooned with parking tickets, which were never paid. When Mr. Barry ran for a seat on the school board, his aides taped his opponents' speeches, which he then appropriated as his own. "That's sophistication," he said when asked about it. The Washington Post ran editorials praising his "savvy" and boomed him for mayor.

The Teflon didn't wear out until the final scandal. The videotape evidence was hard to ignore, and the city's white establishment, including the Post's fickle editorialists, turned against him with fearsome brutality. To this day, Mr. Barry attributes his downfall to tricks and betrayals. I don't blame him. It was a particularly ugly case of parents eating their young.

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April 16, 1974 Wall Street Journal
A Problem at Evanston High


CHICAGO -- The test scores were what educators had come to expect from the ghetto high schools of New York, Chicago or any other large city.

On a standardized aptitude test, the average black sophomore scored in the eighth percentile, meaning that 92 out of 100 students in the entire country did better than he did. Achievement test scores were a bit better; on a nationwide basis, the average black sophomore fell in the 20th percentile. But these black students weren't from a run-down, segregated school in a desperately poor neighborhood. They went to Evanston Township High School, situated in one of Chicago's more affluent suburbs and generally regarded as one of the nation's best public high schools.

What's more, most of them had been going to integrated schools for most of their lives. Evanston High has been integrated for 90 years and the elementary and junior high schools that feed it have been integrated through busing for nearly a decade. On the whole, the city's black population is much better off than the average, although poverty does exist in spots. There has been little of the headline-making violence or acrimony that has attended school integration elsewhere. "If integration can't work here, it probably can't work anywhere," says James Nelson, one of the four principals at the school.

So far, integration at Evanston isn't working--at least in the way that educators and social scientists of the 1950s and '60s envisioned it would. While Evanston blacks were scoring so dismally low on the national tests, their white classmates were doing quite well, with an average score in the 88th percentile on the aptitude test and the 80th percentile on the achievement.

No Academic Benefits

The disparity in the results, which school officials say is too large to blame entirely on culturally biased testing, carries over to classroom work. Both challenge a basic assumption made by legislators and courts that blacks would benefit academically from going to school with whites in a thoroughly integrated situation. Integration and achievement, it now seems, have little relationship to one another.

One reason that Blacks fail at Evanston is that they appear to want to. "No way I'm going to do things The Man's way," says Ben, a black senior who says he is failing most of his courses and doesn't particularly care. Teachers say Ben isn't Untypical. "Many of the black kids feel it's just not hip to study and they put pressure on others to conform," notes: Lucia Peele, a high school guidance counselor who also is black.

Ira Everett, for example, is a black senior whose family moved into the Evanston system three years ago from Chicago. He is an above-average student and will go to college. (Most black students who do well at Evanston came there from outside districts, teachers note.) Ira says he doesn't feel any peer pressure not to study, but, then again, he admits, "I don't have too many friends: I go pretty much by myself. ''

There are other forces that compel black students to give something less than the old college try. "Why should I care?'' asks a black freshman in a class set up for students who have reached high school without learning how to read "It ain't going to do me no good anyhow."

"I run across this all the time." says Mrs. Peele, the guidance counselor. "A white student has plenty of examples of how school can pay off with a good job, a good life, but a black student sees a society that will discriminate against him even if he does well."

The black-white split on academics extends to social life as well. Blacks made up 20% of Evanston's 4,700 students, yet students say there is little socializing between the groups, except on athletic teams. One of the several student lounges has become established as the blacks' lounge and a white face seldom is seen there, conversely, blacks don't often visit the "white" lounges.

Similarly, the hallway in front of the school's central office has been staked out as black territory. White students say they feel free to pass through, but won't linger to chat with friends. "I wouldn't stop and talk unless you were here," says Vicki, a white sophomore, to a reporter whose suit and tie mark him as something other than a student. "We might be desegregated, but I don't think you could say we're integrated," she adds.

Teachers also are blamed for black students' lack of academic success. Some are accused of being racist and others are accused of being overly lenient.

"The greatest enemy of the black kid is the white liberal teacher who pats him on the head but doesn't expect anything from him," says Dorothy Magett, a black administrator at the high school. "If you demand nothing, you get less than nothing."

Some students agree with this assessment. But others, like Henry Hammel, a black senior who says he "messed around" quite a bit before he "found religion" and decided to get serious about school, say that some teachers discriminate against blacks. Says Henry "I had teachers say to me: 'I can see right now that you're not going to make it. By the time you're 21 you're going to be either a bum on the streets or dead.' "

David Rogers, who graduated from Evanston last year as one of the school's few black honors students, says that when he tried to get into the all-white advanced science program, "some teachers didn't want to let me in."

"Nervous as Cats"

Others criticize some teachers for not enforcing classroom discipline. "White teachers are as nervous as cats around blacks," asserts a school board member who requested anonymity. "Many of them say to themselves: 'If I say anything at all to a black kid, I'm in trouble.'" In truth, many white teachers haven't given much attention to the problems of black students. A reporter, seeking explanations of the low test scores, recently attended a meeting of about 15 teachers. It quickly became apparent that most of them hadn't talked about the problem before, although they welcomed the chance to do so. "Not everyone's willing to admit we even have a problem," says one.

Finally, the average black student at Evanston doesn't appear to get the support at home that his white classmate gets. For example, relatively few black parents attend parent teacher association meetings. School officials say they think that's because the city's black population, on the whole, still is considerably poorer than the white population. Both parents in a black household often are forced to work, leaving them little time to encourage or supervise their children's school work, they say.

Home environment might be the major factor in a black student's success, or lack of it. James S. Coleman is a professor of sociology at the University of Chicago and his 1966 study, "Equality of Educational Opportunity," persuaded many that blacks would be better off going to school with whites. Now, he isn't as sure.

"All the data assembled in the last few years tends to show that family level of education and family background in general are the single most important factors relating to academic achievement," he says.

"Whether a school is integrated or not by itself, just doesn't seem to have that much to do with it." Mr. Eisner is a member of the Journal's Chicago Bureau.

[Because of its antiquity, the above article is not available from Dow Jones News Retrieval and is reproduced in full for your convenience.]

Feb. 2, 1994 Wall Street Journal p B1

* * *

Black Managers Reject White Bosses' Criticism BLACK MANAGERS often shrug Off negative performance reviews from white supervisors, a recent study shows. But by ignoring such feedback, they may help fulfill their own expectations that they will be treated badly by white managers, says Herdie Baisden, a psychologist who conducted the study.

Mr. Baisden, a vice president with Personnel Decisions in Arlington, Va., looked at how 500 black and 3,600 white managers rated themselves and how they were rated by their supervisors. The black managers tended to get lower grades than their white counterparts. And although all the managers thought they did better than their supervisors thought they did, the perception gap was significantly higher for black managers.

Mr. Baisden, who is black, concluded that black managers "discount some of the feedback they get . . . and say 'consider the source' " to protect themselves in workplaces they consider to be hostile. Even positive feedback is discounted. "We end up with a view of ourselves that clearly is not shared by the boss, which increases the level of conflict," Mr. Baisden says.

"We still don't know why the white managers are rating them lower in the first place," Mr. Baisden says. But instead of closing down to feedback, black managers should "try their boss's boss or peers or subordinates and see how their views line up," he says. White managers, he adds, should be frank, consistent and specific in their evaluations of black subordinates to overcome inherent mistrust.

* * *

Mar. 20, 1992 Wall Street Journal A12 C4
Blacks Who Use 'Racism' as Their Excuse


A black congressman is arrested for driving drunk the wrong way on a main thoroughfare. He charges racism. A black federal judge is found guilty of accepting bribes to lower the sentence of a convicted drug dealer. He charges racism. Two black deputy mayors go to jail for stealing money intended for the poor. Again, the charge is racism. A state senator was caught setting up a scheme to defraud the food stamp program intended for his low-income constituents. He too cries racism and upon release from jail attempts to run again to represent his district.

And now, Mike Tyson's rape case is just one more unhappy episode in the erosion of the moral legacy of the civil rights movement. Leading black ministers and civil rights groups organized a support group for Tyson--not to demand equal justice before the bar, but to exonerate him before his trial and exempt him from punishment after he was found guilty (by a jury that included blacks).

Of course, now we know -thanks to the press- that the bottom line for the ministers was money. They were simply protecting a major donor. The National Baptist Convention, and its president, T.J. Jemison, had a building campaign to complete. As one of the denomination's pastors explained to the Washington Post, "It was a dollar-and cents proposition--Tyson can't give money when he's in jail."

It is becoming increasingly clear that corruption, greed and personal indiscretions have become "entitlements" for black celebrities and elected officials. The message being sent to young blacks is also clear - "Rape your sisters; it's the racist society's fault! Rob and plunder your brothers; you have an exemption! And, you can rip hell out of the social contract if you'll help us with our fundraising!"

* * *

But, today, an eclipse has fallen across the shining examples of moral leadership that once distinguished the civil rights movement. Today's molders of black opinion have scorned and abandoned that great legacy and are descending into a moral and spiritual sinkhole where skin color, celebrity, and political status have become substitutes for character and integrity. When they wonder why inner city youths will beat a pastor to death in front of his congregation and kill women and children if they stand in the path of a drug transaction, they should look no further than their own example. There is truth in the saying that our children listen to nothing we say, but are guided by everything we do.

My worst nightmare is for America to turn back to those days when we were judged, not by the content of our character, but the color of our skin. In addition to abusing the trust given to them, many black leaders are ignoring the dangers of the precedents they are setting. The door they have unlatched can swing both ways. Immunity from justice by virtue of race, when expanded, can result in tragedies as horrendous as those perpetrated by Idi Amin, who terrorized and murdered millions of his people in Uganda, only to be defended by black activists who labeled the reaction of the world community against him as "racist."

* * *

Mr. Woodson is president of the National Center for Neighborhood Enterprise. in Washington.

Nov. 2, 1992 Wall Street Journal p1
Ex-Judge Is Likely To Join the Congress That Impeached Him

* * *

Blacks See Florida's Hastings As a Victim of Injustice; Establishment Is Appalled


HOLLYWOOD, Fla. -- Indeed, Alcee Hastings's bid for Congress is a most unusual one in many ways, not least among them this: He is now expected to be elected tomorrow to the same U.S. House of Representatives that impeached him three years ago. "You can't change the system from the outside," says Mr. Hastings, 56.

Alienation and Hope Beyond the irony, though, is an unusual union of alienation and hope among Mr. Hastings's many black supporters. "This is a very American drama," says Donald Jones, a University of Miami law professor. "This is someone who was pressed down, who rose again. Every black person would like to think Alcee's story is their story."

The Hastings story is a remarkable riches-to-rags-to-riches political saga. A brilliant lawyer, he was a state Supreme Court judge before being appointed Florida's first black federal judge in 1979. But two years later, he was accused of conspiring to accept a $150,000 bribe. Although he was acquitted, a panel of federal judges concluded that he had lied and had manufactured evidence. That led to his impeachment by the House - by a vote of 413 to 3-and removal by the Senate in 1989.

Through it all, Mr. Hastings traveled all over the country defending himself with a thumping oratorical flair more reminiscent of a fundamentalist preacher than a federal judge. The result has been a deep well of support among black people who feel Mr. Hastings is just another victim of a system bent on destroying the best and brightest blacks. And he has tapped that well in his run for Congress from a new district designed to increase black representation. After winning the Democratic primary and a runoff, he is widely expected to win Tuesday because the district is half black and overwhelmingly Democratic.

* * *

That's certainly evident at a rally at Antlers Temple 39 Elk Lodge in Miami. As Mr. Hastings strides into the hall, he greets Andrew Young, the former Atlanta mayor and congressman, and the crowd erupts into a standing ovation. The former judge is introduced as a man who "has been beaten, but he has not been broken" - and the crowd erupts again, chanting "Alcee, Alcee, Alcee."

Mr. Hastings captivates the crowd with his powerful and dramatic voice. He waves his fist in the air and declares: "I said what I wanted to say as a federal judge, and I'll damn well say what I please now." The audience bursts into applause. "Alcee will be the next Adam Clayton Powell, a people's congressman," says Mr. Teele, who is supporting the Democratic candidate even though he is a Republican Dade County commissioner and co-chairman of the local Bush-Quayle effort.

Mr. Hastings, divorced father of one, lives with his mother in a double-wide trailer and now earns a living as a defense attorney.

He has always taken special delight in tweaking the local establishment, some of which is appalled by the most recent turn of events in the Hastings saga. The Miami Herald feels he is unfit for office and has endorsed his Republican opponent. "He is not in jail, and for that he can thank a jury," the newspaper declared in an earlier editorial.

But Mr. Hastings's impeachment "carries no weight in our community at all," says H.T. Smith, a black Miami attorney. In fact, he argues, the impeachment generated support for Mr. Hastings from those who felt it unfair for the congressional prosecution to proceed after he had been acquitted by a jury.

Ganging Up Al Portee, a 50-year-old shoeshine man who waits for business in the middle of the Hollywood Mall, thinks Mr. Hastings's legal troubles increase his affinity for the problems of the average person. "Just to go through that system on that end of it" puts him in touch with the grass roots, Mr. Portee says.

* * *

Mr. Young compares Mr. Hastings's problems with those that led him to resign as the Carter administration's ambassador to the United Nations after he talked with members of the Palestinian Liberation Organization. "I did not want anybody to think they could tell me to tuck my tail between my legs and be a good nigger," Mr. Young tells the Elks gathering. "I see that in the man you are about to elect as your congressman."

If they do elect him, Mr. Hastings will be part of a group that will significantly increase black membership in the next Congress. Three blacks are likely to sit in the House next year from Florida, which currently has none. Mr. Hastings's district, which covers parts of seven counties and 1,600 square miles, was one of several drawn with increased black representation in mind.

There are now no blacks in the Senate and 26 in the House, including John Conyers of Michigan, who was chairman of the House subcommittee that impeached Mr. Hastings and acted as prosecutor in the Senate trial.

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[Except as noted above, the forgoing excerpts are part of longer articles that may be obtained in full from Dow Jones News Retrieval.]


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