Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Is America's Racial Divide Permanent?

Pat Buchanan, who writes below, has had a very long involvement in American politics so he knows where the bodies are buried. His interest in history makes him a formidable commentator. So his comments below on how wide and how acrimonious race differences have become in America cannot be lightly dismissed. I want to add some commentary on the reality he sets out.

Particularly since the advent of Obama, black/white relationships have become very bad. Seldom have hopes of a president been so badly disappointed as were the hopes that Obama would be a racial healer. Just about everything he did and said that had a bearing on black/white relationships made things worse rather than better. Obama regularly took the side of blacks in disputes with the police when mere caution should have told him that judgments should wait until all the evidence was in. He referred to black thug Trayvon Martin, for instance, by saying that ‘If I Had a Son, He Would Look Like Trayvon’. So the great hope of racial healing in America was lost.

But the big question is: "Why"? Other populations in America that look different, such as the Chinese and the Indians, do brilliantly well for themselves and fit seamlessly into the best strains of American life. They bother nobody and nobody bothers them.

The Left have no answers other than their constant empty-headed and parrot-like cry of "racism". They blame anybody and anything for black failure other than blacks themselves. Buchanan is wise enough not to challenge that directly. To challenge it would invite a wearisome torrent of Leftist hate down on his head. Challenging Leftist pieties makes you an enemy not only of the Leftist establishment but also of Leftist young people as well. The consequences can be serious. Only Mr Trump seems to sail on unruffled by all the Leftist abuse and accusations that are hurled at him.  No wonder they hate him

So Buchanan's comment on the causes of the racial divide consist only of his final sentence: "Is white America really black America's biggest problem?". His answer clearly is that blacks themselves are their own main enemy.

But that does not go far towards answering why. What could be the problem is however as plain as the nose on your face: Blacks just cannot perform well in any problem that white society normally encounters. They just cannot do well most things that normal Western society puts before them. Their educational performance is dismal and their success at just about anything other than a few physical tasks is rare. The only way many of them can make money is through crime. They are just not fit for a good life in a modern society.

And that is true of blacks worldwide. In other countries -- such as Britain -- and in Africa itself, they live at a very low level in just about anything that matters. It is clear that they are genetically disadvantaged. America's Leftist educators have turned themselves inside out trying to find something that will bring average black educational achievement up to general community standards but the gap remains profound. Most blacks just cannot do the tasks set before them in the classsroom so they act disruptively and often drop out entirely.

So what is to be done? -- as Lenin famously asked in 1901. The first thing is to stop telling lies. Stop pretending that blacks can perform in ways that they cannot. Affirmative action is based on a myth of black equality and therefore hinders rather than helps. Blacks CAN be fitted into productive society. Most do have jobs, if generally rather low level jobs. Without equality mythology standing in the way, the black rate of unemployment could fall to the same level as in the community in general. And without the impossible expectations of them that Leftists have generated, they would surely be less hostile to a  community that accepts them as they are.

For Roseanne Barr, star of ABC's hit show "Roseanne," there would be no appeal. When her tweet hit, she was gone.

"Roseanne's Twitter statement, is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show," declaimed Channing Dungey, the black president of ABC Entertainment.

Targeting Valerie Jarrett, a confidante and aide of President Barack Obama, Roseanne had tweeted: If the "muslim brotherhood & the planet of the apes had a baby=vj."

Offensive, juvenile, crude, but was that not pretty much the job description ABC had in mind for the role of Roseanne in the show?

Roseanne also tweeted that George Soros, 87-year-old radical-liberal billionaire, had been a Nazi "who turned in his fellow Jews 2 be murdered in German concentration camps and stole their wealth."

The Soros slur seems far more savage than the dumb racial joke about Jarrett, but it was the latter that got Roseanne canned.

Her firing came the same day that 175,000 employees of 8,000 Starbucks's stores were undergoing four hours of instruction to heighten their racial sensitivities.

These training sessions, said The Washington Post, "marked the start of Starbucks' years-long commitment to new diversity and sensitivity programs after two African-Americans were arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks on April 12."

The Philly Starbucks manager, a woman, had called the cops when the two black men she took to be loiterers refused to leave.

Rachel Siegel of the Post describes the four-hour session:

"At first the employees are prompted to find differences. They watched a video in which (Starbucks head) Howard Schultz talks about his vision for a more inclusive company and country. They reflected what a place of belonging means to them. And they examine their own biases.

"Each group viewed a documentary underwritten by Starbucks and directed by Stanley Nelson. In the film people of color talk about experiences of being followed in stores. Footage from the civil rights movement quickly progresses to 21st-century cellphone videos capturing people being dragged off a plane, threatened in a New York deli and choked at a North Carolina Waffle House."

On reading this, the terms "Orwellian" and "re-education camp" come to mind.

Earlier in May, the NFL issued a rule saying players who refuse to stand for the national anthem must remain in the locker room. If they take a knee on the field this coming season, they can be punished and the team fined.

Great was the outrage when this ruling came. The First Amendment rights of black players were being brutally trampled upon.

Yet the NFL has always had restrictions on behavior, from evicting players from the game for unsportsmanlike conduct to curtailing end-zone dances.

What is the common thread that runs through these social clashes from just this last month?

It is race. Each episode fits neatly into the great media narrative of an irredeemably racist America of white oppressors and black victims.

Had it been two white guys hanging out in that Philly Starbucks, who were told by the manager to buy a cup of coffee or get out, the spat would never have become a national story.

These incidents, coming as they do 50 years after the historic advances in civil rights, induce a deep pessimism that this country will ever escape from the endlessly boiling cauldron of racial conflict.

Today, because of cellphone videos, social media, 24-hour cable and the subsequent nationalization of even the most trivial incidents, our national conversation is more suffused than ever with matters of race.

For many, race has become a constant preoccupation.

And in each of these incidents and disputes, the country divides along the familiar fault lines, and the accusations and arguments go on and on until a new incident engenders a new argument.

The America of the 1960s, with its civil rights clashes and "long hot summers," was a far more segregated society than today. Yet the toxic charge of "racist" is far more common now.

And how much do these conversations correspond to the real crisis of black America? Here is a sentence culled from another Post story this week: "Three fatal shootings ...over the Memorial Day weekend brought the (Ward 8 total) to 30 homicides so far this year."

Are white cops really the problem in Ward 8, Anacostia, when 30 people in that black community have been shot or stabbed to death in the first five months of 2018?

Washington, D.C., spends more per student than almost any other school district. Yet the test scores of vast numbers of black kids have already fallen below "proficiency" levels by the time they reach fourth and eighth grade, and the high school truancies have reached scandalous levels.

How does ABC's cashiering of "Roseanne," or apologies to the two guys at Starbucks, or restrictions on the rights of millionaire NFL players to kneel during our national anthem address the real crisis?

Is white America really black America's biggest problem?


Obama Admin Changed FAA Hiring Process To Prioritize Diversity Over Airline Safety

Of all the jobs in America, it’s tough to think of one where quality matters more than keeping the country’s crowded airways running safely.

But thanks to rules implemented by the Obama administration, when it comes to air traffic controllers, the skin color of the candidate applying for the job might matter more than the quality of his work.

And that could be putting the flying public in danger.

As Fox News’ Tucker Carlson reported Friday, the Federal Aviation Administration had for decades relied on a rigorous screening process for potential air traffic controllers that was among the most “selective” for federal employment.

Applicants had to have military service or pass an FAA training program before even being eligible to take a “specially designed exam that tested for relevant job skills,” Carlson reported.

“The system was designed to choose the best, and for decades it worked,” Carlson said.

But then the Obama administration decided it wasn’t working the way liberals wanted it to.

“Activist bureaucrats decided that the pool of air traffic wasn’t diverse enough,” Carlson said. “They never explained why diversity ought to matter in air traffic control, or why it was more important than traditional goals like competence and public safety.”

But still things changed.

The FAA now uses a “biographical questionnaire” to screen applicants, which is apparently intended to increase the number of minorities who qualify for the jobs. What the questionaire scoring system rewards and penalizes is, as Carlson put it, “shocking.”

The questionnaire favors applicants who performed poorly in science class in high school and have not held a job for three years before applying to the FAA, Carlson said. (“Apparently, unemployed people make the best air traffic controllers,” he added. “This is demented, by the way, but it’s real.”)

By contrast, he said, the test does not award high points for actual pilots or those with air traffic control experience.

“This is insane,” Carlson said. “And it’s dangerous. It’s also indefensible.”


Italy: "The Party is Over" for Illegal Migrants

An estimated 700,000 migrants have arrived in Italy during the past five years. — International Organization for Migration (IOM).

"There are not enough homes or jobs for Italians, let alone for half the African continent." — Matteo Salvini, Interior Minister, Italy.

Italy's new interior minister, Matteo Salvini, has vowed to cut aid money for migrants and to deport those who illegally are in the country.

"Open doors in Italy for the right people and a one-way ticket out for those who come here to make trouble and think that we will provide for them," Salvini said in the Lombardy region, home to a quarter of the total foreign population in Italy. "One of our top priorities will be deportation."

Salvini, leader of the nationalist League (Lega) party, formed a new coalition government with the populist Five Star Movement (M5S) on June 1. The government's program, outlined in a 39-page action plan, promises to crack down on illegal immigration and to deport up to 500,000 undocumented migrants.

"The party is over for illegal immigrants," Salvini said at a June 2 rally in Vicenza. "They will have to pack their bags, in a polite and calm manner, but they will have to go. Refugees escaping from war are welcome, but all others must leave."

On June 3, Salvini visited Sicily, one of the main landing points in Europe for migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea from North Africa. He said:

"Enough of Sicily being the refugee camp of Europe. I will not stand by and do nothing while there are landings after landings of migrants. We need deportation centres.

"There are not enough homes or jobs for Italians, let alone for half the African continent. We need to use common sense."

Salvini also accused Tunisian authorities of deliberately sending criminals to Italy:

"Tunisia is a free and democratic country that is not exporting gentlemen but often willingly exports convicts. I will speak to my Tunisian counterpart, it does not seem to me that there are wars, pestilence or famine in Tunisia."

Italy is the main European gateway for migrants arriving by sea: 119,369 arrived by sea in 2017 and 181,436 in 2016, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). An estimated 700,000 migrants have arrived in Italy during the past five years.

Italy has been the main point of entry to Europe since the EU-Turkey migrant deal, signed in March 2016, shut off the route from Turkey to Greece, at one time the preferred point of entry to Europe for migrants from Asia and the Middle East.

In February 2017, Italy signed a migrant deal with Libya to intercept boats and return migrants to Libya. The deal, in which Italy committed to equipping and financing the Libyan coast guard, resulted in a 75% decrease in arrivals during the summer of 2017. Since the beginning of 2018, however, more than 13,000 migrants have arrived in Italy from Libya. Those numbers are expected to increase during the summer as the weather improves.

Meanwhile, Italy deported only 6,514 migrants in 2017, and 5,817 in 2016. The new government has pledged to speed up deportations by converting migrant reception centers into deportation centers. Deportations, however, are expensive and complex.

According to Italian law, for example, at least two agents must escort each deportee in an elaborate operation. The newspaper La Repubblica described a recent deportation operation of 29 Tunisians, who were escorted on an aircraft chartered from Bulgaria by 74 government agents, including doctors, nurses, armed police and unarmed plainclothes officers, at a total cost of €115,000 ($135,000), or €3,965 per deportee.

At this rate, the new government's pledge to deport 500,000 migrants would cost Italian taxpayers nearly €2 billion ($2.3 billion).

The previous government allotted around five billion euros to pay for expenses related to the migrant crisis in 2018: 20% is for rescues at sea; 15% for health care, and 65% for migrant reception centres, which currently host around 200,000 people.

The new government has said that it wants to divert some of the funds allotted for the reception centers to pay for deportations. In addition to the financial costs, Italy faces legal hurdles that make mass deportations nearly impossible.

Article 10, Paragraph 2 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights states:

"No one may be removed, expelled or extradited to a State where there is a serious risk that he or she would be subjected to the death penalty, torture or other inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."

This law effectively prevents Italy and other EU members from deporting migrants to most countries in the Muslim world.

The new government has also pledged to negotiate more bilateral deportation agreements. Italy currently has deportation agreements with only five countries: Egypt, Gambia, Nigeria, Sudan and Tunisia. Migrants cannot be deported without approval from the states of origin.

Salvini has also said that Italy will reject proposed changes to the Dublin Regulation, a law that requires people seeking refuge within the EU to do so in the first European country they reach. The Dublin Regulation will be the focus of a meeting between the interior ministers of the 28 EU members states in Luxembourg on June 4.

Italy's geographic location means that it has borne disproportionate responsibility for illegal immigration from Africa and the Middle East, but Salvini said that other EU member states are resisting changes that would require them to share the burden: "They want to weigh down the Mediterranean countries, such as Italy, Cyprus, Malta and Spain, giving us thousands of more migrants for a period ten years."

EU law currently requires member states to be financially responsible for migrants arriving in their countries for a period of ten years. Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, want that responsibility to be reduced to eight years, but Italy, Cyprus, Greece, Malta and Spain want to lessen it to a maximum of two years.

Meanwhile, pro-EU, pro-mass migration and pro-multiculturalism media outlets have gone into attack mode in an effort to undermine the new Italian government.


Row over 'staggering' failure to pick woman for Bank of England MPC

They tried to stack the decks to find a woman for a Bank of England committee job and still ended up appointing a man on merit. Yet still feminists refuse to acknowledge he might be the person for the job.  No facts or rationale offered for why it was important to choose a woman.  It's just sexist bigotry

The appointment of another male economist to the Bank of England's rate-setting Monetary Policy Committee has drawn fire from the female chairs of two House of Commons committees.

The Business Committee's Rachel Reeves called it "truly staggering", while Nicky Morgan, from the Treasury Committee, said she was "disappointed".

Prof Jonathan Haskel's appointment means there is one woman on the MPC.

The Treasury said the role had been awarded on merit.

The department insisted it was "committed to diversity and encouraging the broadest range of candidates". It had "actively contacted" 44 women and 43 men to apply for the role.

Of those, 19 men and eight women applied and four women and one man were shortlisted. It also pointed out that two of the three people on the interview panel were women.

"The final appointment decision was based on merit," it said.

However, Ms Reeves said: "Eight of the nine-strong Monetary Policy Committee are currently men and it is truly staggering that the Treasury has failed to appoint a woman to this role.

"The fact that four women were shortlisted shows that there are plenty of capable and well qualified women, but yet again the top jobs seem to be reserved for men."

Ms Morgan said: "I am disappointed that the gender balance in the Monetary Policy Committee will not be improved through this appointment.

"While I welcome the fact that four women were shortlisted for this role, it is notable that the only shortlisted male candidate has been chosen."

Prof Haskel, who lectures in economics at Imperial College Business School, will replace Ian McCafferty as one of the four externally appointed members of the MPC for three years from 1 September.

Chancellor Philip Hammond said Prof Haskel's "expertise in productivity and innovation will further sharpen the committee's understanding of the British economy".

His appointment was based on recommendations to the chancellor made by an interview panel comprising Clare Lombardelli and Richard Hughes, from the Treasury, and Dame Kate Barker, a former external member of the MPC.

Sarah Smith, professor of economics at Bristol University, said Prof Haskell was "without doubt an excellent appointment, but this leaves only one woman on the committee".

Economics suffered from "serious under-representation of women at all levels", she added.

"The profession is going to have to think seriously about attracting a more diverse range of people - and projecting a broader image - otherwise it is in danger of being seen as a subject that is by men and for men."

Diane Coyle, professor of economics at Cambridge University, called on the Bank of England to do more to encourage women to become economists.

She said it was "hard for any interview panel to do anything other than pick the best candidate, and they've appointed a brilliant person".

However, Prof Coyle added that the "bigger problem" was the wider one of too few women economists: "I'd like to see the Bank take a more prominent leadership role in addressing that in schools and universities."

Last November, the Bank's gender pay gap report revealed that its male staff England were paid almost a quarter more than female employees.

At the time, governor Mark Carney said he was confident men and women were paid equally for doing the same jobs at the Bank.

"However, the greater proportion of men than women in senior roles creates a gender pay gap," he admitted.

"We are working hard to address this imbalance ... addressing the disparity in gender representation at senior levels will take time, but it will help close the current gender pay gap at the Bank."



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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