Saturday, June 05, 2010

No adoption for 'racist' couples in Italy

This seems a very bigoted ruling. Saying that all people with racial beliefs are unfit to have children is a sweeping prejudgment -- and that is exactly what bigotry is.

Black kids have a very unattractive record of low educational achievement and high criminality so who would want to risk that in their lives? If all Italian adopters have to be ready to take blacks, that will certainly put a big crimp in the number of adopters coming forward

Some selectivity is normal in adoption cases. In most jurisdictions some attempt is made to achieve some match between parents and child so it is odd practice to insist on an obvious non-match.

Italian couples only interested in adopting white kids are not fit to become parents, the country's highest appeals court said on Tuesday. The Court of Cassation said a lower court in the Sicilian city of Catania had been wrong to approve a couple's desire to request children that weren't black or non-European.

It strongly indicated that couples making such requests should not be allowed to adopt at all. "In such cases, the judge must not only eliminate any specifications relating to the child's ethnicity, he or she must seriously consider whether such a request is compatible with someone's suitability to adopt," said Cassation Judge Maria Rosaria San Giorgio, who wrote the opinion.

The court similarly ruled out the option of requests for "certain genetic characteristics". It pointed out that all children awaiting adoption already had a "profoundly difficult" past and therefore had a greater need than other kids for parents of "particular sensitivity". The judges stressed that social services should do everything possible to assist couples in welcoming a child that "does not look like them".

It said potential parents should be helped to address their fears that "problems of xenophobia will threaten the child's integration into local society and make it difficult for the child to adapt".

The case was raised at the Court of Cassation by a children's rights group, Amici dei Bambini (Ai.Bi, Friends of Children).

The organization has been battling for ten years to open up adoptions to children of all races, ever since a court in the central city of Ancona court said it was acceptable for a couple to rule out black kids.

Ai.Bi has long argued that couples treating kids as a "commodity" should not be allowed to adopt. The ruling was welcomed by sector association and politicians. The National Association of Adoptive and Foster Parents (ANFAA) stressed that parenting was about "love and education [...] not skin colour".

But ANFAA President Donata Novi Miucci acknowledged that some parents may be worried about raising children "in a hostile environment", an apparent reference to general incidents of racism and violence involving foreigners. "Unfortunately, certain indications in Italy in recent times are very worrying and do not help with this kind of social responsibility," she said. Cabinet Undersecretary Carlo Giovanardi said the decision was "correct".

"It takes into account the fact that an order by public authorities cannot be based on racial discrimination while also recognizing the complex procedures involved," he said. However, he said a couple's inclination to adopt from one country did not necessarily entail "a negative judgment on other countries". While countries such as Britain and the United States have a long history of dealing with in-country interracial adoption, in Italy the issue usually arises only in the course of international adoptions.

Around 4,000 international adoptions take place each year in Italy, 60% of which involve kids from just five countries: Russia, Ukraine, Colombia, Ethiopia and Brazil. According to the last annual report of the Commission for International Adoptions, there has been a sharp drop in the number of adoptions from Vietnam, and a complete block on all adoptions from Nepal, Cambodia, Moldova and Bolivia.


Vegan bigotry

Police Officer James Crooker was asked to leave the vegan coffee shop in Portland, Ore., last month, a discriminatory move but not altogether uncommon at the java joint, a detective told

Crooker, 36, a 2-year veteran of the force, entered the
Red & Black Café on May 18 and bought a cup of coffee before a customer approached him and said she appreciated his efforts. That's when John Langley, one of the co-owners of the collectively managed shop, approached the cop and asked him to leave.

Crooker left immediately. It was the first time something like this has happened to him in his nine-year law enforcement career, he told The Oregonian newspaper. "The places that I've been kicked out of before have been places like the methadone clinic," he said. "You're there to protect them, but on the other hand they don't know what that involves. Being gracious is part of it."

Detective Mary Wheat, a spokeswoman for the Portland Police Department, characterized the incident as a "fluke" but noted the city's ongoing tension between the police and some members of the community. "This is Portland," Wheat told "We have been dealing with that for years and years and years. It's a very liberal city. We have anarchists here and we deal with them on a regular basis."

The coffee shop attracts homeless individuals and activists, the newspaper reported, and Wheat said it is known to be "not friendly" to officers who work the area. "Most officers would know that this is not a coffee shop that's friendly to police," she said. "It's obviously discrimination to police. He works that area and he can't go in for a cup of coffee -- it's not fair."

The customer who approached Crooker, Cornelia Seigneur, is a freelancer for The Oregonian who blogged about the incident on her website. "As I spoke with the café owner, I really never got a direct answer as to why he personally felt unsafe with a police officer in his establishment," Seigneur wrote. "Bottom line, I think especially of the policeman I met at the red and black, Officer James Crooker, a human being who should be treated with respect and honor, like all human beings."

Neither Crooker nor Langley could be reached for comment on Friday. An employee who answered the phone at the Red and Black café declined to discuss the incident. "I've been taking calls about this all day and I'm kind of tired of talking about it," the employee said. "I have a regular job."


The Convenient Villain

On May 29, two days before Israel's botched raid of six "humanitarian" ships bound for Gaza, Robert Naiman, the policy director of something called "Just Foreign Policy," wrote an item on the Huffington Post headlined "Gaza Freedom Flotilla Shows Awesome Power of Nonviolent Resistance."

Naiman waxed lyrical about how the moral authority of nonviolence had compelled Turkish-controlled Cyprus to help the flotilla while Greek-controlled Cyprus had allegedly caved to Israeli pressure in refusing to help the heirs of Gandhi (it couldn't have been because the Turks were up to no good).

"All this," Naiman gushed, "and the main confrontation between the Israeli occupation authorities and the Gaza Freedom Flotilla has not yet begun."

Roughly 48 hours later, the "main confrontation" unfolded. In fairness, the majority of "peace activists" on the ships were nonviolent, offering passive resistance. But on the last boat Israelis boarded, the supposed disciples of peace attacked the Israeli commandos. These new Gandhians beat the Israelis with metal bars and even threw one Israeli overboard.

Funny, I'm no expert, but that's not how Gandhi behaved in the movie. Maybe there was a sequel with Chuck Norris as the Mahatma? "Gandhi's back, and this time it's personal!"

The commandos had been equipped with paintball guns out of deference to the professed pacifism of the activists. But when the goons attacked, out came the real sidearms. Nine "humanitarians" were killed.

Now, one wouldn't expect Naiman to take Israel's side. He'd lose his social justice decoder ring for that. But one might expect him to at least lament the failure of his comrades to stick to their principled nonviolence.

One might also expect kosher pigs to fly. After the incident, Naiman returned to the Huffington Post not to lament the outbreak of violence but to salute the resolve of the "humanitarians."

He opened with a question: "How do you know when someone is serious about pursuing a strategy of nonviolent resistance until victory for justice is achieved?" And then he answered it: "When they refuse to turn back in the face of state violence. Damn the commandos. Full speed ahead." He then went on to celebrate another propaganda ship heading toward Gaza.

How do you know when a proselytizer of nonviolence is full of it? When he doesn't object to the use of violence.

Among Israel's friends, there's a deep and wide consensus that the "flotilla fiasco" was a public relations disaster, proof that Israel doesn't know how to work with the global media to shape world opinion.

The first part is almost indisputable at this point. The raid was a disaster. As for the second part -- that Israel's problems are about public relations -- I'm not so sure.

The assumption is that world opinion is open to hearing Israel's side of the story. But that hasn't been the case for years. From the "Jenin massacre" that was no massacre to the idiotic charges of "genocide" that erupt across the Arab world, the moment Israel defends itself from missiles or "martyrs," the presumption is always that Israel is the villain. When it turns out the facts support Israel, it's at best a footnote or proof the Israelis have manipulated the media.

Question: If Israel is always hell-bent on murder, massacres and genocide, why is it so bad at it? If its battle plan called for a slaughter, why kill "only" nine people? Why not sink all of the boats?

Meanwhile, is it really the case that Hamas is objectively "good" at public relations? Or Hezbollah? Or Iran? Really? I just don't see it. To me, these PR operations are less "Wag the Dog" and more Baghdad Bob (the Monty Pythonesque spokesman for Saddam Hussein's regime). But instead of everyone laughing at the lies and idiocy, millions of people nod their heads in agreement.

North Korea recently sank a South Korean ship. The international reaction has been muted and sober. Turkey -- the Palestinians' new champion -- has been treating Kurdish nationalists harshly for generations; no one cares. The Russians crush Chechens, the Chinese trample Uighurs. Real genocides unfold regularly in Africa. Iran is pursuing a nuclear bomb. Hamas is openly dedicated to the destruction of Israel. So is Iran.

And yet the only villain as far as much of the world is concerned is Israel. Always Israel.

But none of these facts matter. Indeed, it's tiring even to recount them in an environment where big lies matters more than obvious truths, where self-defense is "aggression," where restraint is "genocide," and where the heirs of Gandhi wield steel pipes.


The Right To Discriminate

by Walter E. Williams

Rand Paul of Kentucky, U.S. Senate hopeful, is caught up in a swirl of controversy in response to his comments on MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow Show." He has been dishonestly accused of saying he thinks that private businesses have a right to discriminate against black people. Here's a partial transcript of the pertinent question in the interview:

Maddow: "Do you think that a private business has a right to say, 'We don't serve black people'?" To which Paul answered, "I'm not, I'm not, I'm not in ... yeah ... I'm not in favor of any discrimination of any form."

The "yeah" was spun in the media as "yes" to the question whether private businesses had a right to refuse service to black people. Paul had told Maddow that while he supported the 1964 Civil Rights Act in general, he thought that provisions banning private discrimination might have gone too far.

Democrats launched an attack on Paul accusing him of being a racist. Republicans criticized and in the words of Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, Paul's "philosophy is misplaced in these times." He added that Paul has a libertarian perspective and "(has) a very, very strong view about the limitation of government intrusion into the private sector."

Should people have the right to discriminate by race, sex, religion and other attributes? In a free society, I say yes. Let's look at it. When I was selecting a marriage partner, I systematically discriminated against white women, Asian women and women of other ethnicities that I found less preferable. The Nation of Islam discriminates against white members. The Aryan Brotherhood discriminates against having black members. The Ku Klux Klan discriminates against having Catholic and Jewish members. The NFL discriminates against hiring female quarterbacks. The NAACP National Board of Directors, at least according to the photo on their Web page, has no white members.

You say, Williams, that's different. It's not like public transportation, restaurants and hotel service in which Title II of the 1964 Civil Rights Act "prohibits discrimination because of race, color, religion, or national origin in certain places of public accommodation, such as hotels, restaurants, and places of entertainment." While there are many places that serve the public, it doesn't change the fact that they are privately owned, and who is admitted, under what conditions, should be up to the owner.

If places of public accommodation were free to racially discriminate, how much racial discrimination would there be? In answering that question, we should acknowledge that just because a person is free to do something, it doesn't follow that he will find it in his interest to do so. An interesting example is found in an article by Dr. Jennifer Roback titled "The Political Economy of Segregation: The Case of Segregated Streetcars," in Journal of Economic History (1986). During the late 1800s, private streetcar companies in Augusta, Houston, Jacksonville, Mobile, Montgomery and Memphis were not segregated, but by the early 1900s, they were. Why? City ordinances forced them to segregate black and white passengers. Numerous Jim Crow laws ruled the day throughout the South mandating segregation in public accommodations.

When one sees a law on the books, he should suspect that the law is there because not everyone would voluntarily comply with the law's specifications. Extra-legal measures, that included violence, backed up Jim Crow laws. When white solidarity is confronted by the specter of higher profits by serving blacks, it's likely that profits will win. Thus, Title II of the 1964 Civil Rights represented government countering government-backed Jim Crow laws.

One does not have to be a racist to recognize that the federal government has no constitutional authority to prohibit racial or any other kind of discrimination by private parties. Moreover, the true test of one's commitment to freedom of association doesn't come when he permits people to associate in ways he deems appropriate. It comes when he permits people to voluntarily associate in ways he deems offensive.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


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