This is the eighth a series of articles examining the issue of race in the United States.
"Racism is simply conflict or aggression by one group against another based on group identity.
"There are two precursors of armed combat. One is violent assault. The other is the visible pursuit of racial advantage through political activity, or the ballot box."
In lesson six we asked the question whether belief in the American moral paradigm of "integrationism" and racial harmony could be sustained or believed except by European-Americans raised in racially segregated suburbs.
In lesson seven, we noted that the social pathologies subsidized by the welfare system drive "white flight" and the creation of new suburbs. This phenomenon of white flight and suburban development has resulted in U.S. consumption and savings patterns that are different from those seen in other, more homogeneous developed countries.
In lesson two and lesson three, we saw that racial hostility was a universal human characteristic. It is inconceivable that these feelings of hostility and aggression disappear merely because a group happens to be a minority.
However, if you think about it, a minority is going to have to be very careful about how, when and where they express these feelings. Obviously, crude expressions of hostility toward a majority could result in disastrous political consequences. Rather, the focus of minority aggression and hostility must be carefully cloaked from the view of the majority.
Expelling or exterminating a majority is an unrealistic objective for a minority. Even if it were possible for a minority to accomplish such an act, the economic cost would be too high. Rather than expulsion or extermination, minorities will seek to dominate the majority, or at the very least, to dictate the terms of their interaction with the majority.
Within any multi-racial empire, the aggression of minorities will ordinarily be confined to efforts to control public opinion, particularly about racial matters, and to weaken the cultural norms of the majority. Thus, you would expect minorities to seek employment in advertising, the news media, entertainment, and politics to ensure a measure of control over public opinion and public discourse.
Being outnumbered places obvious limits on the rhetorical devices minorities may use in controlling public discourse. They must advocate universalisms like "equality" or "compassion" or some other values or ideals that justify imposing a practical burden on the majority and the acceptance of that burden. If a minority claims that it is a superior race, conflict with the majority would escalate very quickly. Thus, it is important for minorities, even very successful and dominant minorities, to claim victim status and argue for "equality" as a means of distracting majority attention from politically imposed burdens.
But to be successful, this aggression of minorities must be carefully controlled. To keep the empire stable, minorities must accept the satisfactions of this indirect aggression. Once members of the minority groups become alienated enough to demand the more direct satisfaction of openly angering the majority, the game is close to an end.
While it may be very easy for minority elites to conceal their feelings and motives, they are typically less successful at controlling the hostility of all of the members of their group. It is this popular hostility of minorities that tends to escalate tension and move conflict beyond the legislatures and into the streets.
These visible symptoms of popular hostility are beginning to appear in the United States. Criminal violence is the most destabilizing.
In the media and in history books we constantly read about European-American violence toward African-Americans. But what the average European-American actually sees in everyday life is the opposite - attacks on European-Americans by African-Americans.
Ordinary people would conclude from this everyday experience that the attackers hate us. But European-Americans cannot be allowed to believe that. They are taught instead that distant and unseen members of their own race are guilty of the racism and hate, and that this discrimination justifies and explains the violence they actually see in real life.
The myth goes like this:
"Social preferences of European-Americans in free-market transactions devalue minority contributions. Absent these preferences, we would see proportionate representation of African-Americans at all economic levels. Thus, the actual aggression you see in your everyday lives is provoked and justified by discrimination. European-Americans are the real racists."
Under this economic determinist theory, the wealthier the racial group, the more racist it is. To measure "racism" all we need do is measure the economic status of an ethnic or racial group.
But free markets have rewarded Jews, Japanese and Chinese more than any other ethnic or racial groups in the United States. If racism is a function of wealth, then these must be the most racist groups. That conclusion is false not because these groups lack feelings of fear and exclusivity, but because the premise of "unfair markets" is false.
As Thomas Sowell, a black sociologist, points out in his book, "Race and Economics," there is a cost associated with a private employer discriminating against someone who can earn him a profit. Very few private employers will bear this cost. According to Sowell, employment discrimination has always taken place at institutions shielded against these costs, namely governmental employers and regulated utilities. That is precisely where we see the most intense effects of present day quotas. (See Yggdrasil's Lesson #4).
The Marxist explanation for Black aggression fails because it fingers other minorities who themselves claim to be the victims of racism.
Crime statistics also disprove the "economic determinist" model of racism. Since 1973, the first year that the Justice Department began its annual crime surveys, the rate of personal thefts has declined 31.9%, household burglaries have declined 47%, and household larcenies, 22%.
The rate of crime involving non-confrontational theft motivated by economic need has declined dramatically over the last 21 years, and in greater proportion for blacks than for whites. At the same time, violent crime - assaults, rapes and robberies have increased.
If crime rates were a function of economic need, then we would expect the "non-confrontational" crimes of personal theft and burglary to hold steady or increase in relation to the number of violent crimes.
Much is made in the popular press about the fact that Blacks are the main victims of Black crime. That is certainly true for murder. But there were only 25,000 murders in 1992 in the United States, and only 141,000 forcible rapes. (From BJS surveys, and not just reported crime numbers).
In contrast, there were 1.2 million robberies, and 5.3 million assaults. An assault is an incident in which someone comes up and punches or kicks you, just to humiliate and frighten you. Economic gain is not a motive. It is the quintessential "hate crime". 5.3 million attacks is a truly staggering number. 11% of all assaults or about 580,000 are by blacks against fellow blacks. 15% of all assaults or about 795,000 are by blacks against white victims. 71% of all assaults are committed by whites, but only 2% of all assaults, or 106,000, were committed by whites on black victims.
Thus, while blacks commit 2.7 times the number of assaults as whites per capita, there are fully 7.5 times as many assaults by blacks on whites as by whites on blacks. It is 49.7 times more likely that any randomly selected black has assaulted a white, than that any randomly selected white has assaulted a black.
Blacks are well aware of these probabilities, as evidenced by a quote from the Dec 17, 1993 edition of he Wall Street Journal:
Jesse Jackson said the other day that "there is nothing more painful to me . . . than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery--then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved."
The statistics raise all sorts of interesting questions.
1. Given the concentration of those 795,000 annual black-on-white assaults in neighborhoods adjacent to black neighborhoods, is white flight to distant suburbs the likely product of racism or simple fear?
2. Suppose that instead of constituting 12.1% of the population, blacks were 35%. In that circumstance, would the existing rates of aggression have already provoked civil war or secession?
3. Is it an accident that the social engineers of the "therapeutic state" have never attempted to dismantle white suburbs?
4. Could Marxism be a manipulative device designed to dissuade groups from asserting their own racial interests while concealing racial aggression on the part of Marxists themselves?
5. Is it possible that "hate crime" laws serve a critical symbolic purpose? - That assaults by whites against blacks are so rare that each case must be made into a "show trial" to reinforce the myth of white racism?
6. Isn't black violence useful to the black middle class? Aren't quotas based on numbers inflated by a black underclass rendered unemployable by drugs and crime disproportionately generous toward the small number of middle class blacks?
7. Can one make the argument that by voting to support black dependency on welfare, the black middle class is pursuing its own narrower self-interest at a hideous cost to the less fortunate members of its own kind?
The second intermediate form of conflict is block voting. Minorities can conceal racial agendas by supporting politicians from behind the scenes in exchange for a limited agenda of items. But when majority politicians are forced to make race-based appeals for block votes of minorities, then minority aggression becomes impossible to conceal.
In the United States, the European-American majority tends to split evenly, with approximately 45% voting for liberals and Democrats.
Asians and Americans of Hispanic origin tend to split as well, with about 55% to 65% of their votes going toward liberals and Democrats. These vote splits are healthy, and indicate that the groups involved are considering the merits of the question, or the policy preferences of the candidates, and are correlating those policy preferences with factors and interests other than just racial identity.
Not so with Blacks.
They routinely cast 80%-90% of their votes for Democratic candidates. The evidence is overwhelming that the only question they consider is which candidate will provide the greatest resource transfers from European-Americans.
Voting has special significance because it is an expression of the racial motivations of the middle and upper-middle classes. Generally, persons most likely to commit assaults have very low voter turnout rates.
8. Based on the above objective measures of racial aggression, are European-Americans, as a group, racist?
Reprinted below is a selection of excerpts which deals with the problem of black alienation in the United States. Curiously, this alienation is a recent development, having arisen during a 30 year period of vast intervention by government to "overcome" the effects of past segregation. The programs run the gamut from race preferences and quotas, integration of schools, federal expenditures on programs such as "Headstart" and massive support from the "social safety net".
9. We should ask whether the minority elites can keep control of the popular hostility of their own groups. Will conflict escalate?
10. Has the governmental effort at "integration" been a failure? Should it be abandoned?
11. Has the black population in the United States already partitioned itself psychologically and socially? Have governmental programs aggravated the problem?
12. Would a formal partition of the United States into two countries be consistent with underlying reality? Is it consistent with the trend?
13. Would partition or secession draw much racial opposition? (It surely would draw economic opposition, but for reasons intimated in Yggdrasil's Lesson Seven).
YGGDRASIL recommends that you read the following:
BY DAVID IGNATIUS
"Criminal Violence, Criminal Justice" By Charles E. Silberman. Random House. 540 pages. $15
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Mr. Silberman set out to write what might be called, in the current fashion of the publishing industry, "The Complete Book of Crime." It's all here, neatly divided into two sections.
The first, "Criminal Violence," examines the causes of contemporary crime and the burden of fear that it imposes on law- abiding citizens. He argues, forcefully, that while America has always been a violent country, much of the crime that frightens people of all races today is black crime, and that this black crime wave is a relatively recent phenomenon. What's more, it isn't explainable simply by black poverty; Crime rates for blacks are higher than those for other disadvantaged minorities such as Puerto Ricans and Mexican Americans, and they don't decrease as rapidly as might be expected with rising incomes.
"In the end," writes Mr. Silberman. "there is no escaping the question of race and crime." He argues that poor black men are today acting out the fantasies of violence and revenge that have haunted their forebears since slavery". Especially in adolescence, they enjoy being "bad niggers," in Mr. Silberman's words, and there's no reason to believe things will change soon.
"What has happened in the last 15 years in good measure, is that the cultural devices that kept black violence under control have broken down. and that new cultural controls have not yet emerged: While Mr. Silberman is extremely sensitive to the trauma of the black experience in America, his observations about race and crime are likely to startle some liberal readers.
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BY ARTHUR S. HAYES
Staff Reporter of The Wall Street Journal
NEW YORK - Perhaps the Bronx County Courthouse should post a warning: People who get sued here run an increased risk of suffering staggering losses.
Or maybe it doesn't need to put up any signs: Tom Wolfe spread the word in his novel "Bonfire of the Vanities," in which he declared, "The Bronx jury is a vehicle for redistributing the wealth."
Bronx juries, the data show, find the defendant liable in a lopsided 72% of civil cases, compared with a national average of 57%. Damage awards in this New York City borough average $1.2 million, double those in mostly suburban and affluent Westchester County to the north, according to the New York Jury Verdict Reporter.
But lawyers are learning through research and experience that the Bronx-jury phenomenon isn't unique. Juries in many other urban areas also tend to favor civil plaintiffs and go easy on criminal defendants. Lawyers think such juries identify with people they perceive as victims, to the detriment of police, prosecutors and deep-pocket civil defendants.
It's possible the underlying reason has something to do with race - New York's borough of the Bronx is mostly black and Hispanic--
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Similar results are evident in such cities as Washington, St. Louis, Philadelphia and Chicago. Juries in suburbs of these cities side more often with civil defendants.
In St. Louis, for example, data for 1989 show that plaintiffs won 80% of the verdicts in personal-injury trials in the city but only 48% in the suburbs. The gap was still evident in 1991, but narrower-a 62% plaintiffs' success rate in the city, 53% in the suburbs. Judy A. Riley, managing editor of Jury Verdict Reporting Service in St. Louis, believes plaintiffs lost ground in the city for three reasons: Gentrification over the past 10 years put more affluent whites on juries, rule changes made it tougher to avoid jury duty, and insurance companies mounted an advertising campaign against high damage awards.
In Chicago's Cook County in the first eight months of last year, juries awarded winning plaintiffs an average of $675,012, compared with $194,021 in eight mostly white suburban counties, according to the Chicago Jury Reporter.
Why the disparities? Lawyers for both plaintiffs and defendants say urban poor and working-class minorities have a different sense of justice than wealthier jurors. To the poor, lawyers contend, the powerful and the affluent seem alien and often inimical, and so such jurors tend to side with plaintiffs, whom they see as fellow victims.
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BY SAM FULWOOD III
Times Staff Writer
WASHINGTON--As the O.J. Simpson case has dramatically illustrated, vast differences exist between the way black and white Americans view everyday reality.
Many whites have expressed surprise and bafflement over opinion polls showing a majority of African Americans sympathetic to Simpson and highly skeptical of the evidence against him while the same polls suggest most whites see things the other way around.
However, such findings come as no surprise to many blacks and to numerous social critics, political scientists and other experts who study black American attitudes. They say a similar gulf splits blacks and whites as they interpret other facets of society. Such polarized views of reality inhibit the nation from effectively dealing with health care, crime, drugs, welfare, gang violence, out-of-wedlock births and a host of debilitating social problems.
Many blacks are so instinctively mistrustful of white society that some automatically reject any idea or judgment whose origins are not easily traced to the black community. Some whites find black suspicions so extreme and far-fetched from their own mainstream views they make no effort to understand the differences.
"Blacks and whites are more politically estranged from each other than they have been in the last 20 to 30 years--since the era of the civil rights movement," said Melvin Oliver, a sociologist at UCLA's Urban Poverty Center.
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While some people of all races try to bridge this gap, many whites and minorities are so far apart in their basic perceptions of the problems that seeking common action against them is almost impossible.
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BY JAMES M. PERRY
Staff Reporter of The Wall Street Journal
WASHINGTON -- Most Americans line up solidly behind President Bush's Middle East policy. But there's a major exception -- black voters.
In The Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll conducted last weekend, black and white voters agree on many propositions -- that the nation is heading for a recession, for example. But they diverge sharply on the question of sending American military forces to the Middle East. On that point, 74% of white voters support the military action, but the approval rate among black voters is only 41%.
Perhaps the most commonly voiced explanation by black politicians and scholars is that the conflict in the Middle East may divert desperately needed money for social programs here at home.
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THE ELECTION-YEAR debate over America's social problems seemed to hit its low point a couple of weeks back. That's when the House of Representatives voted to remove weight-lifting equipment from federal prisons, on the theory that weights make inmates stronger and therefore more dangerous when they get out.
That kind of superficiality suggests America's political leaders aren't in the right frame of mind to grasp complex social problems not given to glib solutions. Maybe that's why nobody is confronting one particularly disturbing phenomenon: the deepening political discontent of a whole generation of black Americans.
There's mounting evidence that blacks, particularly young blacks, see less and less value in working within the current political and social structure and instead favor breaking out of that system. Those sentiments are finding their voice in the growing numbers of African-Americans who favor forming a black political party, and who identify with a rising tide of black nationalism. These aren't sentiments voiced only by the black underclass or Louis Farrakhan followers, but also by successful black professionals and intellectuals. The political implications of this trend are profound. More important, so are the implications for American society.
The most stark portrait of these sentiments comes from a recently completed survey by Michael Dawson of the University of Chicago and Ronald Brown of Wayne State University. They oversaw in-depth, 45-minute interviews with 1,206 randomly selected African Americans, and found what Mr. Dawson calls "a more radical black America than existed even five years ago."
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[Each of the above excerpts is part of a much longer article which can, excepting the article written in 1978, be obtained in full from Dow Jones News Retrieval.]
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During 1992 both the theft rate and the rate of household crimes reached all-time survey lows. BJS attributed this to significant declines in personal thefts without contact as well as household larcenies and burglaries.
However, the number of violent crimes has increased. There were 6,621,000 violent offenses last year--34,000 more than the year before and 1,271,000 more than in 1973. The percent change for 1974-92 represented the largest increase for simple assault rates [of any year] (14.3%).
In 1992, there were 6.6 million violent victimizations, including 141,000 rapes, 1.2 million robberies, and 5.3 million assaults.
Victims of violence in 1992 report that about 33% of offenders were less than 21 years old, about 86% were male, and 29% were black. About a third of the victims reported that they were attacked by multiple offenders.
*Victims report that in most violent crimes, the victim and the offender were of the same race. In 1992, in 73% of the violent crimes against whites, the offender was also white; in 84% of violent crimes against blacks, the offender was black.
Sources: BJS, Criminal Victimization in the United States, 1992, March 1994, NCJ-145125.
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This analysis of data from the National Crime Survey (NCS) shows that between 1979 and 1986;
Of all rapes, robberies, and assaults committed by single offenders, 69% involved a white offender and a white victim, 15% a black offender and a white victim, 11% a black offender and a black victim, and 2% a white offender and a black victim. About 3% involved offenders of other races.
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Homicide data were reported on 25,180 offenders in 1992. Of these offenders for whom sex, age and race were reported-- *90% were male *50% were age 15-24 *55% were black.
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