Saturday, May 31, 2008

Bigotry and Contempt at Taxpayer Expense

Once upon a time, feminism stood for fairness, equality, and possibility. But feminism traces its roots back to Karl Marx, George Engels, and Vladimir Lenin. That fact alone should make us think twice before acquiescing to the insistent demands of the women's libbers. Rep. Howard Berman, California Democrat, recently introduced the International Violence Against Women Act (H.R. 5927). Known to its supporters as I-VAWA, the bill is based on the Violence Against Women Act, first signed into law in 1994 at the behest of First Lady Hillary Clinton.

The crusade to stop intimate partner violence began in 1972 when activist Erin Pizzey established the first woman's abuse shelter in London. Pizzey quickly discovered that many of the women in her shelter were just as violent as their partners. That led her to conclude that partner abuse is a human, not gender-specific problem. That revelation didn't sit well with the rad-fems, who were determined to usurp the domestic violence issue to leap-frog their own political agenda. So they stormed the meetings and Pizzey was soon voted out. These experiences compelled Pizzey to pen an expose called "How the Women's Movement Taught Women to Hate Men." Her essay highlights spiteful women like the zealot who openly declared, "We don't like men .If there is ever to be any equality, marriage and the family must be abolished." Thanks to the domestic violence movement, the contempt of men began to spread across the globe.

In Canada, abuse shelters became known as "one-stop divorce shops" that forbade women to reconcile with their partners. It got so bad that former shelter resident Nezha Saad revealed to a local judge, "I was put under tremendous say even more negative things about my husband to get him in more trouble with the law."

Disdain for men permeates the domestic violence industry in the United States, as well. Three years ago conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly excoriated the Violence Against Women Act as the "hate-men law." That damning appraisal is confirmed by numerous industry insiders. (Caution: vulgar language ahead!) In Minnesota a shelter director left her job in disgust because the residents were subjected to a constant barrage of lesbian propaganda that said in so many words, "All men are sh*ts, all men are abusers."

Joy Taylor, who had volunteered at her local shelter, was shocked by the staff's militant feminist ideology. "Men were always presented at potential abusers; any goodness one might see in them was only temporary," she revealed.

In Washington state, the head of one shelter admitted, "Whenever I speak of male abuse, I am met with disbelief and, even worse, laughter." Many of these shelters not only turn away male victims of violence, they even refuse to accept adolescent males who are children of female abuse victims.

One Seattle-area judge wrote, "I am a member of the advisory committee for the local shelter. I was shocked at the anti-male bias of the ladies who ran the center. My committee expressed concern about the underlying anti-male bias which even showed up in the name of the shelter."

The Violence Against Women Act also bankrolls educational programs for law enforcement personnel. In California, retired police officer George Sperry described domestic violence training classes as "so dripping with male hatred that everyone in the class felt uncomfortable, male and female officers alike." In 2006 the presenter at a West Virginia seminar openly referred to a man accused of domestic violence as a "scum bag," at the same time making light of a Florida incident where a young man was sexually assaulted by his female teacher.

So it's probably no surprise that the International Violence Against Women Act is filled with numerous one-sided and alarmist claims that amount to a spiteful indictment of the male species. The bill is filled with neo-Marxist cant about "power inequities." But no where does the bill mention the recent 32-nation survey that found women were more likely to strike the first blow. And of course the proposed law never mentions that men are twice as likely as women to die of violence-related causes.

The domestic violence industry needs a top-to-bottom house-cleaning. Scratch below the veneer of self-serving clich,s like "helping battered women escape the cycle of abuse," and you'll find a self-perpetuating industry that cares only about breaking up families and vilifying men. All this thanks to the largesse of the U.S. taxpayer, to the tune of $1 billion a year. And this is what Rep. Berman wants to export to the rest of the world.


Now it's reformed homosexuals getting pummeled

Verbal to violent, attacks rise against former homosexuals

Homosexual activist groups long have denied that ex-"gays" exist and have charged those ministries that work with the needs of those desiring to leave the lifestyle are fraudulent. One such activist even recently attributed the crime of rape to the "sickness" of the ex-"gay" movement.

But some attacks on those who have left the lifestyle, or are trying to, go far beyond verbal denigration, according to those who have experienced it, including Joe and Marion Allen. Their son Bart was in the process of leaving the homosexual lifestyle in 2001 when the "gay" with whom he'd shared an apartment strangled and killed him. The Allens now run a ministry called Hope for the Broken Heart and they have spoken at conferences for the ex-"gay" ministry Exodus International simply because they cannot be silent about the tragedy in their family, and they want to help others avoid a similar result.

"He [Bart] was in the process of trying to come away from this, and was just involved with a sick, sick man," Mrs. Allen told WND. "He was wanting help. He did not understand his feelings and we certainly did not understand his feelings. "Thank goodness our child was a believer. He did love the Lord and he was miserable. He knew what the Scriptures said about it," she said. The family looked for help from a counselor but found, instead, despair. "When Bart came out of her office, he looked like he had been given a death sentence. I know this lady did not realize what she was doing . but she had told him he was born gay," she said.

"She told him we were doing him an injustice by telling him this was wrong and he needed to go on back [to the homosexual lifestyle]," she said. Her son did go back, but still couldn't accept his own lifestyle choices any longer, and asked the other man to leave the apartment. "He was trying to make a break and he wanted help. He [Bart] called him from our house, and told him [to move out]," she said. Her son asked the apartment building managers to change his locks, but they declined, assuring him the keys could not be duplicated. "We don't know [what happened]. The police told us Bart was asleep. He [the attacker] got in and strangled him to death with his hands and a dog leash," Mrs. Allen said.

While violence rising to the level of homicide is not reported a great deal, the lower levels of harassment and badgering are growing, according those who have experienced or witnessed it. Among recent situations that have developed in the ongoing argument over the 'innateness" on homosexuality:

* Officials at a New England organization have reported that members of a transgender lobby have promised to shadow grandmothers and others who will be collecting petition signatures on a traditional marriage amendment plan this summer.

* Actions by members of the homosexual community recently prompted the American Psychiatric Association to cancel what was to be a discussion of the lifestyle.

* And prominent leaders of the homosexual community have stated that only they benefit from hate crimes laws, those laws that enhance a penalty for crimes already covered by other statutes based on the thoughts that accompany the criminal act.

The Allens connected with the Exodus International Ministry and have been working through that, and their own project, to offer help to those who want guidance by sharing their own experiences. "I guess you never get over things, of course, but it has been almost seven years. We still cry," she said.

Regina Griggs, the executive director of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays, said her organization and staff members repeatedly have been attacked simply because of their message: that there are such individuals as former homosexuals.

Some attacks have been physical, such as the 2007 incident at the Arlington County Fair. There, police told WND, there was a confrontation between an individual who got upset over the PFOX message about leaving homosexuality and a volunteer at the fair booth. "One officer told me today he was on patrol at the fair when a woman approached him and told him a man had knocked over pamphlets at the PFOX booth and assaulted another man there. The officer then spoke to the alleged victim. He did not want to press charges and therefore no written report was filed," said a statement issued by John Lisle, media relations officer for the Arlington County police department.

"Based on the description the officer was given, he located the suspect at the fair. Another officer escorted that gentleman off the fair grounds," his statement continued. The result of the situation? Pro-homosexual activists vigorously condemned Griggs for "making up" the story when she alerted supporters about the situation. "Regina Griggs has lost all credibility and must resign in shame for her dishonest behavior," wrote Wayne Besen, executive director of the homosexual advocacy group Truth Wins Out. "What PFOX did was warped, twisted and an insult (sic) real hate crime victims."

Griggs said at the time, "The gays became infuriated when our ex-gay volunteers testified about leaving homosexuality. . One gay man went so far as to hit our ex-gay volunteer because he refused to recant his ex-gay testimony."

The fair was one of the events to which PFOX was admitted. Several other major influences in America today, including the National Education Association, and the Parent-Teachers Association, simply refuse to allow PFOX to appear at their events.

Griggs said her most recent application for an event was returned to her unopened. NEA and PTA officials refused to respond to WND requests for comment on their censorship policies.

Those who condemn homosexuality also face electronic badgering. When Sally Kern, an Oklahoma lawmaker, vocally rejected the homosexual lifestyle choice as a threat, she was inundated with tens of thousands of e-mails in a coordinated attack on her beliefs. Some of the e-mails threatened her.

In a PFOX commentary, the question was raised: "Why is it that the term 'ex-gay' so threatens the gay community?" That's because, "It implies that one remains homosexual by choice. That the gay person need not continue in the homosexual lifestyle is an unsettling message. It is far easier to believe that there is no way out than to contemplate the rigors of the change process. Let no one deceive themselves by thinking that leaving the homosexual lifestyle is an easy thing to do. It is extremely difficult. It is only when we totally give up and say, 'Lord, I can't do it on my own,' that we allow God the opportunity to come in and begin to remake our lives. The process is slow and the gay person encounters much in the way of spiritual warfare. The enemy does not allow anyone to easily slip out of his control. Indeed, the ex-gay person passes through the fire."

But the label itself is important, they say. "It is our witness to the life-changing power of Jesus Christ. It is the ray of hope that flickers within the gay community that homosexuality is not a terminal condition. In itself, it says, 'There IS a way out!'"

Griggs told WND the movement is becoming more aggressive in teaching that homosexuality is something people are born with, not something they choose for whatever reasons. "We have a school board teaching homosexuality is innate. We have judges ruling schools are not required to teach fact-based [sex education] information," she said. "Basically they are silencing anyone who holds a different opinion. Their sole concern is about advancing that homosexuality is normal, natural and healthy and should have all the equal benefits of marriage.

"If you come at it from a Christian perspective, that makes you a homophobe," she said, citing the case of a University of Toledo administrator who was fired for expressing her personal Christian testimony regarding homosexuality. "They're not seeking equality; they're seeking total control," she said.

National statistics on crimes victimizing those who are leaving the homosexual lifestyle are virtually untracked, but a federal study does reveal that there is a level of violence involving same-sex partners. The 2000 study that cites those statistics, however, notes that most intimate partner victimizations are not reported to police. The federal study did reveal that violence between "partners" is more common among male same-sex duos than among female same-sex duos, women living with women reported less "intimate partner violence" than women living with men but men living in homosexual situations reported a higher rate of assault than men living with women.

At The State of America, an author raised the issue of the springtime event, the Day of Silence, which promotes homosexuality in public schools under the guise of highlighting "discrimination" against "gays." "The Day of Truth is simply a day of counter-cultural political activism. A day of silence would almost be okay if it was about all bullying, all intolerance, and all discrimination, but it is not. What about the harassment of the goofy looking guy with glasses, or the person with a big wart on her neck, or the one with too many ugly pimples, or wimps, or nerds, or those who wear black cloaks and look like gangsters, or all the others who are often harassed because of appearance or speech problem or whatever? Gays are certainly not the only one silenced, harassed, bullied, alienated, or isolated. A lot of kids have been murdered by others kids because of being harassed before and since the Columbine massacre. Why is their not a national day of protest for them? Because gays are the only group with a corporate funded political agenda."

"Each year thousands of men and women with same-sex attractions make the personal decision to leave homosexuality by means of reparative therapy, ex-gay ministry or group counseling. Their choice is one only they can make. However, there are others who refuse to respect that choice, and endeavor to attack the ex-gay community. Consequently, ex-gays are subject to an increasingly hostile environment where they are reviled or attacked as perpetrators of hate and discrimination simply because they dare to exist," Griggs said.

Researcher Georges Rekers, of the University of South Carolina, in a review of studies, confirms the results indicate homosexuality can be changed "significantly." "[The research] demonstrates with convincing scientific evidence that the Christian ministry interventions of Exodus International produce strong and clinically meaningful changes in homosexual orientation in a large percentage of individuals. Furthermore this . research . yielded no evidence to support the common assumption that attempts to change sexual orientation cause harm or psychological distress," he said in a report on the website for The National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality.

Exodus officials had protested when Congress recently considered the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, H.R 1592, which was to protect those with "sexual orientation" issues. According to a Baptist Press report, a spokesman said the legislation was discriminatory. "What we're saying is this legislation is unfair, because it means that I was more valuable as a homosexual than I am today as a former homosexual," the spokesman said.


The ‘Blind Dogmatists’ of the Condom Scam

Elites, pundits and celebrities frequently cite the Catholic Church as responsible for the spread of AIDS in Africa by her refusal to support condom use as a solution

Among my rather eclectic circle of friends are a handful of street preachers who are regularly abused, ridiculed and threatened by those they try to reach. The preachers lament that people just don't seem to respect the Christian faith any more. I tell them “It might not make you feel any better, but they don't respect pure science either.”

Nowhere is this blindness more apparent than in the frenetic efforts to slow or halt the African AIDS epidemic with condoms. When the Catholic Church attempts to teach and preach about the only realistic solution to this crisis—abstinence and faithfulness—it is mocked and attacked as “blind” and “dogmatic” by the very people who are making a lot of money from distributing billions of condoms.

For example, Peter Piot, head of the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), said that, “When priests preach against using contraception, they are committing a serious mistake which is costing human lives.” The Guardian's Polly Toynbee backed him up, claiming that, “In countries where 50% are infected, millions of very young AIDS orphans are today's immediate victims of the curia.”

AIDS really began to take hold in the Sub-Sahara in the early 1990s. In response, a vast legion of international population control groups, led by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the World Bank, and International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) began to distribute literally tons of condoms in the region. Although pro-lifers vociferously disagreed with their methods and their morality, we at least conceded that their motives were good. But now we have ample reason to question their motivations as well.

Anyone who has traveled in Africa over the past decade has seen the ubiquitous condom billboards leering at them from every direction. Stone walls near sports fields, schools and anywhere else people congregate are plastered with pro-condom messages. The population controllers even sport condom advertisements painted on their vehicles or on their wheel covers. In the larger cities, public condom demonstrations and giveaways are everywhere. All of these advertisements and activities have one thing in common. They all claim that using condoms will make you “safe,” and none of them mention that condoms fail very often indeed.

The “family planner's bible,” Contraceptive Technology, (CT) provides the most critical piece of information that shows how condoms actually promote the spread of AIDS. According to a summary of fifteen studies using more than 25,000 condoms, CT found that they broke 4.63 percent of the time and slipped off 3.40 percent of the time, for a total of 8.03 percent.

This means that, if a person uses a condom only ten times, he has a 57 percent chance of having at least one failure. After fifty uses, he has a 99 percent chance of having at least one failure and a 39% chance of having at least five failures. If he uses 100 condoms, a typical amount in one year, he will have at least one failure and has a 91 percent chance of having at least five failures.

The distribution of Catholics and Muslims in Africa provides further proof of the condom's inability to stop AIDS. In African countries with a high percentage of Catholics and Muslims, who generally do not use condoms, the adult HIV infection rate is very low. In nations with low percentages of Catholics and Muslims, the adult HIV infection rates are high. In the five African countries with the most Catholics and Muslims (averaging 99% of the populations), the average current adult HIV infection rate is only 0.09 percent, or about one in 1,100 adults.

In the five African countries with the least Catholics and Muslims (averaging only 10% of the populations), the average current adult HIV infection rate is a staggering 16.20 percent, or one in six, a rate 180 times higher.

The Ugandan example has proven that the key to stopping AIDS is not a failure-prone, less-than-paper thin layer of latex, but modifying human sexual behavior. Uganda's emphasis on abstinence and faithfulness has led to its adult HIV infection rate plunging from nearly one in four in the early 1990s to about six percent now, with countries pushing condoms continuing to see a rise in infection rates.

Yet, despite the clear evidence, the population controllers are still doing everything they can do defund abstinence programs and ramp up condom distribution. Who are the true “blind dogmatists” here?


Boozy Britain

What we surely need to address is why vast swathes of young people - and their parents and grandparents, too, I expect - find being so intoxicated that you can't stand up the very acme of fun. We've all done it: I had my stomach pumped once when I was a student (I know - classy), but most of us aren't madly keen to keep on doing it.

I fully understand the joys of the three-hour lunch: I love sitting in the sunshine with a chilled bottle of white wine; I have no reformed drinker-style notions about the evils of booze. Drinking until you're giggly and feel like singing is very nice. Drinking until the room starts spinning and you want to throw up isn't. What I can't get my head around is why such vast numbers of people believe it is and that it is what you must do to have a laugh.

I was walking back from St Leonards in East Sussex to Hastings a few months ago, at about three in the morning, after a party. We detoured via a chip shop near the sea front because we were starving.

Here is what we saw at the chip shop: 1) a young man, who had been glassed in the face, trying to buy a kebab; 2) two extremely drunk young men standing outside (near some sick) trying to start a fight with, as far as I could tell, any random person; 3) two girls aged about 15, completely inappropriately dressed (because, sorry, and do exercise your female rights to cram your pallid flesh into whatever porno costume you like, but if you're going to stagger about pissed at three in the morning, take a coat and wear it) clutching each other and barely able to stand up; and 4) another young girl, outside the chip shop this time, being felt up by some bloke as she was vomiting.

The thing is, having been at a party until 3am, my companions and I were also drunk. But, Jesus, not that drunk. Why would you do that to yourself? In what way is it fun to be glassed, semi-raped or puke down your dress? Does anyone seriously wake up in the morning and think: "Top night"? Statistics tell us they must, in vast and increasing numbers.

I happened to be in Hastings, but I expect a version of the hideous scenario above plays itself out everywhere. I know young people in the countryside are so bored there's nothing for it but to drink, have sex (but apparently not understand how contraception works. Why not? - it's not exactly challenging) and take drugs, and I suspect that the more remote the community, the more intense the boredom and the more extreme the partaking: there is actually something intensely provincial about drinking to excess.

It has nevertheless become shorthand for being "one of us", recognisably a member of the great tribe of pissheads, up for a laugh. The liberal elite, in their usual moronic, tragically out of touch way, thought that endlessly printing photographs of David Cameron and Boris Johnson at Oxford in full Bullingdon rig and banging on about toffs would freak out voters and send them scurrying gratefully into the arms of the Socialist Workers party. As we know from the past few weeks - this one included - it didn't quite work that way. Well, d'oh. Okay, so they're wearing funny clothes - but they're also doing what the nation likes doing best: getting bladdered. The whole raison d'etre of clubs such as the Bullingdon is drinking to the point of oblivion. It is also the whole raison d'etre of vast swathes of the country.

It has become as outre in some circles to use the word "underclass" as it would be to call homosexuals "arse bandits" or black people "nig-nogs". We keep telling ourselves that the lovely, admirable, hard-working, morally upright (there was a time when it was the nation's conscience as well as its backbone) working class still exists and a few horrid bad apples are spoiling the barrel. This is simply not true. The old working class exists, but it is on its last legs, and the underclass that has replaced it is on the rise - angry, desperate, broke and broken, culturally and morally barren, passing on their poor, empty lives to their children and grandchildren. No wonder they drink to oblivion - wouldn't you?

The fact of the matter is that the binge-drinking problem is largely an underclass problem. Teen pregnancies are largely an underclass problem. Teenage crime is largely an underclass problem. Child neglect - we live in a country where a little girl allegedly starved to death in her own home last week - is largely an underclass problem. Our collective problems are largely underclass problems.

Could somebody not just come out and say it, before another generation floats away to its doom on a sea of alcopops? The underclass was made, not born. Nobody asks to live in poverty, with no hope, no ambitions, no possibility of betterment, and the belief that the most fun you can have is to drink yourself into early cirrhosis. I know they're hard to love, but really - do we owe these people no responsibility whatsoever? Don't cut the price of their dreadful gut-rot: help them.

More here


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. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


Friday, May 30, 2008

BNP seeks to make a martyr of activist killed by rich Muslim

The British National Party sought yesterday to present the killing of one of its activists by a Muslim elder as an act of white martyrdom. On the steps of Stafford Crown Court, Michael Coleman, a BNP councillor and organiser of the party's Stoke-on-Trent branch, said: "We advise anybody who gets angry: get involved with the BNP." He was speaking at the end of the trial into the killing of Keith Brown, 52, a former boxer and friend of the BNP leader Nick Griffin, who collapsed and died after being knifed in the back by his next-door neighbour Habib Khan. Mr Griffin attended his funeral.

Khan, 50, was unanimously cleared of murder but convicted of manslaughter after a jury heard that he had endured racism, threats and violence from Mr Brown and his son, Ashley Barker, also a BNP activist. Khan was also convicted of wounding Mr Barker, 20. His son, Azir Habib Saddique, 24, was cleared of the same charge. Khan's sentencing was adjourned.

Simon Darby, Stoke BNP's deputy leader, has been blogging daily from the courtroom. The funeral is posted on YouTube. A DVD will be distributed, playing on voters' worries about violent attacks blamed on Asian men. Other BNP units are being urged to adopt the strategy of highlighting local Muslim-on-white attacks.

The potency of the far Right claiming its first martyr dawned last year as six BNP councillors shouldered their fallen comrade's coffin. To some white supremacist websites, Mr Brown is being built up as the Horst Wessel of the Potteries, a British equivalent of the Nazi songwriter shot dead by a Berlin communist in 1930. An online book of Condolence hails Mr Brown as "the first nationalist victim of Islamic jihad against Great Britain".

Behind the rhetoric lies a tale of two middle-aged, Middle England fathers whose rivalry descended into loathing. Khan dreamt of knocking down two semis and creating a single grand villa next to a pair of ageing end-terrace houses where Mr Brown, his girlfriend and their seven children lived in the Normacot district.

Mr Brown tried everything to stop the building work but Khan erected a miniature palace with carved stone pillars and huge decorative amphorae in the garden. Like most neighbourhood feuds, it boiled down to a row over boundaries. Mr Brown accused Khan of putting a fence on his land and said that the conservatory blocked his light. Mr Brown was a dangerous man with convictions for what Judge Simon Tonking called "extreme violence" in his twenties. In 2000 he was convicted for punching a man in the face.

Mr Brown turned to the local authority for assistance and was introduced to Steve Batkin, then the sole BNP member of Stoke council. Mr Batkin lodged a complaint that the Khans were behaving aggressively. The councillor took the police a DVD showing an Asian man apparently kicking out at Mr Brown from the Khans' side of the boundary. The Staffordshire force allegedly declined to view the disc. The Independent Police Complaints Authority is investigating a BNP complaint that the police failed to protect Mr Brown, and a mirror-image complaint from the Khans.

The BNP recruited Mr Brown. "We started talking about politics," said Mr Coleman. "We found he agreed with what we were saying. We have many angry young men in our ranks. Our aim is: don't put it on the streets, put your anger into politics." Although Mr Brown declined to join, he helped with campaigns. "He was an excellent activist," Mr Coleman said.

Stoke-on-Trent BNP's first campaign about an alleged Asian-on-white attack came after the death of a barman who collapsed eight days after being allegedly beaten and hit on the head with a wheelbrace by a group of men in 1998. Last summer the BNP leafleted about another Asian attack that left a white victim hospitalised. "We went from abstract politics - the European Union, the threat of floods of immigrants coming - to a grass-roots campaign," Mr Coleman said.

At this month's Stoke elections, the BNP received nearly 8,000 votes, exceeded only by Labour with 11,000. The far-right party won an extra three seats to reach a total of nine. Normacot is torn by racial tensions. Khan was a stalwart of his local mosque where, after the 9/11 attacks, a pig's head was dumped as an insult to Muslims arriving for prayers. The mosque treasurer Mohammed Hanif smiled sadly when asked about race relations. Some of his worshippers, he said, endured living beside whites who "didn't like it at all that they had coloured Asian neighbours".


Fears of `the Islamic problem' brought success at polls

The British National Party, the far-right, white-only movement founded in 1982 from the ruins of the National Front, now claims about 100 councillors, mainly in communities with large Muslim populations. The principal strategy of Nick Griffin, its Cambridge-educated leader, has been to escape the jackbooted, knuckle-dragging image of street-fighting neo-Nazis and to become a popular anti-immigration party. The East End of London has become a stronghold, with the BNP installed as the official opposition on Barking & Dagenham council under the leadership of the artist Richard Barnbrook. Mr Barnbrook made a breakthrough by winning the BNP's first seat in the London Assembly.

The party's electoral success came after it began concentrating its attacks on Muslims. Since 9/11 and the Asian riots in the North of England in 2001 it has gained representation on local authorities from Burnley, Kirklees and Rotherham in the North to Stoke-on-Trent, Sandwell and Nuneaton in the Midlands and Epping in Essex. The first sign of the success of Mr Griffin's strategy came when he stood as a candidate at Oldham West in the 2001 general election and came a close third with 16 per cent of the vote. By the European elections of 2004, he was focusing on what he described as the problem of attacks by Muslims.

After a BBC documentary recorded him calling Islam a "wicked and vicious faith", he was charged with stirring up racial hated. At the end of two trials, he was cleared and depicted himself as a champion of free speech. He has a previous conviction from 1998 for incitement to racial hatred. Recent BNP literature has expressed some sympathies with blacks and Hindus, portraying them as fellow victims of Muslims.


How Obama Got 'Ahead of the Curve' on Same-Sex Marriage

When presidential candidate Barack Obama spoke last month with -- which describes itself as an "LGBT" (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) news site -- he took a different approach to same-sex marriage than he took in 2004, when he was running for the U.S. Senate. "I'm a Christian," Obama said then, "and so although I try not to have my religious beliefs dominate or determine my political views on this issue, I do believe that tradition and my religious beliefs say that marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman." This statement, reported at the time by The Associated Press, came in a Sept. 24, 2004, interview with WBBM-AM, a Chicago radio station.

In his interview with, published on April 10, Obama did not suggest Christian tradition was at the root of his own views on same-sex marriage, but he did suggest it was a root cause of "homophobia" -- as he criticized traditionalist African American Christian clergymen. "There's plenty of homophobia to go around," the interviewer said to Obama, "but you have a unique perspective into the African-American community. Is there a ... (ellipses in original)"

"I don't think it's worse than in the white community," Obama responded. "I think that the difference has to do with the fact that the African-American community is more churched, and most African-American churches are still fairly traditional in their interpretations of Scripture. And so from the pulpit or in sermons you still hear homophobic attitudes expressed. And since African-American ministers are often the most prominent figures in the African-American community, those attitudes get magnified or amplified a little bit more than in other communities."

When asked about his favoring "civil unions" but not same-sex "marriages," Obama was quick to point out that he understood why the "LGBT" community wanted not only same-sex unions that were equal in law to marriage, but also the word "marriage," too. "So, I strongly respect the right of same-sex couples to insist that even if we got complete equality in benefits, it still wouldn't be equal because there's a stigma associated with not having the same word, marriage, assigned to it," he said.

Despite his unwillingness to advocate the use of the word "marriage" to describe the legalized same-sex unions he says favors, Obama boasted that he is in the top 1 percent of American politicians in advancing the "LGBT" cause. "And I think that it is absolutely fair to ask me for leadership," he told, "and my argument would be that I'm ahead of the curve on these issues compared to 99 percent of most elected officials around the country on this issue." Just how far ahead of the curve is he?

In The Advocate, he noted that, "I for a very long time have been interested in repeal of DOMA," the Defense of Marriage Act. A position paper titled "On LGBT Rights" published by his campaign says Obama believes "we need to fully repeal the Defense of Marriage Act."

The practical effect of fully repealing DOMA would be to force all the other 48 states to recognize same-sex marriages contracted in Massachusetts and California, where the state supreme courts have now said same-sex marriage is a "right." That is because the main purpose of DOMA is to exempt states from having to recognize same-sex marriages contracted in other states as they would otherwise need to under the "Full Faith and Credit Clause" of the Constitution.

But there is good reason to believe Obama does not want the entire electorate to pay close attention to the predictable consequence of the policy he advocates. When the California Supreme Court issued its same-sex marriage ruling earlier this month, his campaign issued a statement suggesting that he respected the right of states to determine their own marriage laws.

"Barack Obama has always believed that same-sex couples should enjoy equal rights under the law, and he will continue to fight for civil unions as president," the statement said, according to The Associated Press. "He respects the decision of the California Supreme Court and continues to believe that states should make their own decisions when it comes to the issue of marriage."

If this statement is true, Obama needs to reverse his call for repealing DOMA, which he was touting to as recently as last month. If he does not reverse his call for repealing DOMA, his true position is that every state in the union should be forced to recognize same-sex marriages.


"See you in court"

Here's the opening of Mark Steyn's speech at the Fraser Institute in Vancouver on the subject of the hate speech charges brought against him by British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal for criticizing Islam. It's a Gangbusters type curtain raiser, but the longer we read the more apparent it is that the speech is less about radical Islam than something else.
I'm honoured to be here. The only other invitation I've had from Vancouver is from the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal which begins its case against my "hate speech" next Monday. I confess until this case came about I'd always assumed Canada had freedom of speech.

I was south of the border, and you may remember that business from last year when Senator Larry Craig had his unfortunate run-in with the undercover cop in the Minneapolis Airport men's room. I was amazed to read this story in the newspaper a few months ago, announcing that his lawyer had filed a brief arguing that the hand gestures Senator Craig supposedly made under the bathroom stall divider were constitutionally protected free speech under the First Amendment.

What a great country. In Canada, according to the Canadian Islamic Congress, "freedom of speech" doesn't extend to my books and newspaper columns. But in America Senator Craig's men's room semaphore is covered by the First Amendment. From now on, instead of writing about radical Islam, I'm only going to hit on imams in bathrooms.

This is my first ever speech in Vancouver. And, amazingly enough, it's also my last ever speech in Vancouver. So it's kind of a two-for-one night. It's like when they say "Direct from Broadway. Limited engagement." This is a very limited engagement. The reason for that is, next Monday, the excerpt from my bestselling hate crime, "America Alone", that Maclean's made the mistake of publishing, next Monday that book excerpt goes on trial at the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal.

As some of you know, the Canadian Islamic Congress has accused me and Maclean's of "flagrant Islamophobia". And the trial begins Monday morning at the Robson Square courthouse - 9 o'clock Monday morning. Go to Robson Square and look for the old lady by the guillotine doing her knitting, you can't miss it. She's knitting a nice "The World Needs More Canada" sweater out of discarded copies of Magna Carta. It's a very moving sight. It would have, of course, be wholly improper of me to comment on a case before the courts, but hey, that's the kinda guy I am.
But what "kinda guy" is modern Western multiculturalism, that proud creation of "progressive" thought? It is, in the last analysis, the principal ally of every fascist unicultural force there is. Steyn soon warms to the point that what is at issue isn't what Islam is; because Islam will be what it will be. What is at issue in the hate speech proceedings is what the West wants to be.
What we're up against is not primarily defined by what's going on in Iraq and Afghanistan. Those are still essentially military campaigns and we're good at those. ... it might be truer to say that this is a Cold Civil War - by which I mean a war within the west. The real war is a domestic war: the key terrain is not the Sunni Triangle but every major city within the Western world. ...

Even if there were no battles in Iraq and Afghanistan, even if no one was flying planes into tall buildings in New York, even if no one were blowing up trains and buses and nightclubs in Madrid and London and Bali, even without all that, we would still be in danger of losing this thing - without a shot being fired.
Steyn's insight -- that the War on Terror is essentially the consequence of a Western disease that manifests itself in the newly found power of medieval madmen -- is the key point. All September 11, Iraq, Afghanistan have done is focus attention on a silent struggle that has been going on within Western culture for last hundred years. It is the ideational counterpart of violent struggles of the 20th century. The men who we remember on Memorial Day only buried the physical corpus of totalitarianism. It remains for us, in the twenty first century, to lay its ghost to rest.

Can we do it without restarting the violence of the last hundred years? Perhaps. But can we do it without a mental and legal struggle. Definitely not. And so Mark Steyn continues in defiance of the thought police. Because that's the kind of guy he is.



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. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Muslim leader accuses British police of being 'over cautious' in stopping Asian gangs pimping white girls

A Muslim leader has accused the police of failing to tackle Asian gangs suspected of prostituting young white girls. Officers are accused of being "over cautious" when investigating Muslim criminals because they fear being branded racist. Last night Mohammed Shafiq, director of the Ramadhan Foundation, said the police were differentiating between criminals on the basis of race. He claimed, driven by fear of race riots in places like Blackburn and Oldham, officers were "overtly sensitive" and not clamping down on the sordid practice.

His controversial comments in this week's Panorama reignite a massively controversial issue which exploded over a Channel 4 documentary in 2004. That programme which claimed Asian men in Bradford were grooming under age white girls for prostitution was pulled from C4's schedules. This was because police claimed at the time that it could provoke racial violence during the local election campaign. Now the BBC is to risk the wrath of police officials and campaigners by airing a programme which will look at the same issue.

Speaking as part of the Panorama investigation, which airs tomorrow (Thursday), Shafiq said: "I think the police are overcautious on dealing with this issue openly because they fear being branded racist and I think that is wrong." "These are criminals they should be treated as criminals. They are not Asian criminals, they are not Muslim criminals, they are not white criminals. They are criminals and they should be treated as criminals." He said that some of the criminals were Asian gangs looking to supplement their income, after the cost of drugs has fallen over the last few years.

Shafiq said "I am the only Muslim leader in the UK that speaks up against this sort of thing and I do it because these teenage girls are somebody's sisters and they are somebody's daughters. I have got two daughters and I wouldn't want that to happen to my daughters. "If there is a drug dealer grooming a white teenager into prostitution then I don't want the police service or local authority not to be open about it."

Philip Davies, MP for Shipley, also raised concerns about the issue yesterday. He said: "Everybody is affected by political correctness. The reason why it is so important is because things like this. "Young girls are having their lives threatened and ruined because people pussyfoot around and they are too scared to do anything in case they make a mistake and are accused of racism. "That's why we have to tackle the culture of political correctness everybody is affected by and I think the police are probably more affected and hamstrung by it than most organisations."

His comments come as Professor David Barrett of University of Bedfordshire also raised deep concerns about the issue in the BBC1 programme. He claimed evidence suggested that those operating the practice were "absolutely" likely to get away with it.

The programme will controversially reveal the ethnic pattern of the crime which is largely Asian in northern England, Afro-Caribbean in the West Midlands and elsewhere white, Turkish and Kurdish.

The Government, reacting to concerns, has revealed it will introduce new crime-fighting targets aimed at specifically combating the little-publicised problem. But there are concerns that the practice, mostly operated by drug dealing gangs, has been of little priority to the various authorities. Figures suggest there are in the region of 5,000 British children being used as prostitutes.

On the programme Vernon Coaker under secretary of state with responsibility for policing reveals the new measures will be come into force next month. The government also plans to introduce a new warning video for use in schools over the issue. But despite funding a Home Office study almost ten years ago which revealed how the problem can be tackled, the police has a low prosecution rate. Coaker told Panorama that using powers under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 there have been just 44 convictions for grooming and pimping young children. Police attempts are said to be frustrated by a code of silence.


The media misrepresentation of Pastor Hagee

A friend of Israel is portrayed as an antisemite because of his Biblical beliefs!

The recent controversy over Pastor John Hagee is about much more than one man and his "crazy" (John McCain's word) comments. The nature of the attacks on Pastor Hagee and the rapidity with which they spread and hardened into the ugliest of conclusions revealed something far deeper and far more disturbing about our public discourse on faith in America.

What was most breathtaking about the debate over Pastor Hagee's statements on the Holocaust was the complete absence of one. This was not a case where thoughtful arbiters discussed his words in the context of a rich Judeo-Christian tradition of theodicy. There was no respect given to a quite common worldview. There was no trial. We skipped right to the auto da fe.

Breathe in deeply and you can still smell the embers smoldering around Pastor Hagee's public persona. With an ever-increasing ferocity, large swaths of the media and the blogosphere are enforcing a new orthodoxy of post-modern contempt for literal religious faith. The heresy they hunt is the belief in an omnipotent God who intervenes in history. And the punishment they impose is public death, banishment from the public square. Their power is sufficient to give pause to even the secular-minded among us.

The treatment of Pastor Hagee last week demonstrates the danger. Pastor Hagee's "offense" was to apply his belief in an omnipotent God to the greatest of tragedies: the Holocaust. After all, an all powerful God by definition could have prevented the Holocaust. So why didn't he? In the search for an answer, Pastor Hagee quoted the book of Jeremiah to suggest that God permitted the Holocaust to bring the Jewish people back to Israel.

Far from representing anything new or shocking, this belief that God sanctions the bad as well as good has deep roots in the Judeo-Christian tradition. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus teaches that not even a sparrow falls from the sky unless God wills it. If one sparrow cannot die without God's consent, then it is certainly reasonable to conclude that the same is true of six million human beings created in God's image.

The Jewish tradition likewise sees an omnipotent God behind human events. To cite just one example, the Talmud teaches that the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed because of the baseless hatred that the Jews had for one another at that time. In other worlds, according to the Talmud, God sent the Romans to destroy the Temple because of the sins of the Jews. I am hard pressed to find a difference between Pastor Hagee's explanation for the Holocaust and the Talmud's explanation for the destruction of the Temple.

Let's be clear: Pastor Hagee's crime was not the specifics of his explanation for the Holocaust. The talking heads were not outraged that he found his answer in the book of Jeremiah instead of the book of Isaiah. His real crime was the fact that he dared to suggest any explanation for the Holocaust that involved a consenting God. To so many arbiters poised over their keyboards, it is simply a heresy to see the hand of God in our tragedies. If this view contradicts your faith in a sovereign God, then you've got a big problem.

Once you've been found guilty of a faith too literal, your public death will be imposed by a thousand cuts. Your life's work will be ignored. Your perfidy will be repeated on YouTube and in blogs where people who know nothing about you, and who've never read a complete transcript of anything you've said, will condemn you with an ever-escalating certitude. Cymbals will ceaselessly clang.

Who among us is safe in an environment where John Hagee can be labeled an anti-Semite? Few Christians have done more than John Hagee to combat anti-Semitism and support the State of Israel. But then he dared to contradict the prevailing orthodoxy. With an absurdity that would make Stalin proud, this lifelong Zionist is now convicted of attacking the very people he has devoted his life to comforting and supporting.

All of us who embrace or respect a more traditional Judeo-Christian worldview need to recognize that Pastor Hagee's problem is our problem. Every Orthodox Jew, Orthodox Catholic and evangelical Christian in America has particular cause for concern. Your views of God and how he interacts in the world are no longer acceptable in the public square. Close the curtains and turn the television volume high before confessing your literal interpretation of the Bible. That large whooshing sound you heard last week was a shot across your bow.


A Confusion of Tongues

By Theodore Dalrymple

Acting recently as an expert witness in a murder trial, I became aware of a small legal problem caused by the increasingly multicultural nature of our society. According to English law, a man is guilty of murder if he kills someone with the intention either to kill or to injure seriously. But he is guilty of the lesser crime of manslaughter if he has been sufficiently provoked or if his state of mind at the time was abnormal enough to reduce his responsibility. The legal test here is a comparison with the supposedly ordinary man--the man on the Clapham omnibus, as the legal cliche has it. Would that ordinary person feel provoked under similar circumstances? Was the accused's state of mind at the time of the killing very different from that of an average man?

But who is that ordinary man nowadays, now that he might come from any of a hundred countries? The accused in this instance was a foreign-born Sikh who had married, and killed, a native-born woman of the same minority. The defense argued--unsuccessfully--that an ordinary man of the defendant's traditional culture would have found the wife's repeated infidelity particularly wounding and would therefore have acted in the same way.

For now, the courts have rejected this line of argument: though, by coincidence, the case took place the same week that the archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, suggested that adopting part of Islamic sharia as the law of the land "seemed unavoidable" and that people in a multicultural society like Britain should be able to choose the legal jurisdiction under which they lived. In contradistinction to such views, it was encouraging to see in the jury a man from a different minority group, one traditionally hostile to that of the accused. The right to challenge jurors without giving a reason, which in the past would have removed this man, has been curtailed in recent years because of a juror shortage. This is just as well, since the right undermines the jury system's whole justification: that ordinary men, of whatever background, can suspend their prejudices and judge their peers by the evidence alone.

Problems with interpreting the law are not the only, or even the most important, ones that arise in an ever more diverse society. A feeling of unease is widespread, even among the longer-resident immigrants themselves, that Britain has lost its distinctive character: or rather, that the loss of a distinctive character is now its most distinctive character. The country that those immigrants came to, or thought they were coming to, no longer exists. It has changed beyond all recognition--far beyond and more radically than the inevitable change that has accompanied human existence since the dawn of civilization. A sense of continuity has been lost, disconcerting in a country with an unwritten constitution founded upon continuity.

London is now the most ethnically diverse city in the world--more so, according to United Nations reports, even than New York. And this is not just a matter of a sprinkling of a few people of every race and nation, or of the fructifying cultural effect of foreigners (a culture closed to outsiders is dead, though perhaps that is not the only way for a culture to die). Walk down certain streets in London and one encounters a Babel of languages. If a blind person had only the speech of passersby to help him get his bearings, he would be lost; though perhaps the very lack of a predominant language might give him a clue. (This promiscuity is not to say that monocultural ghettos of foreigners do not also exist in today's Britain.)

A third of London's residents were born outside Britain, a higher percentage of newcomers than in any other city in the world except Miami, and the percentage continues to rise. Likewise, migration figures for the country as a whole--emigration and immigration--suggest that its population is undergoing swift replacement. Many of the newcomers are from Pakistan, India, and Africa; others are from Eastern Europe and China. If present trends continue, experts predict, in 20 years' time, between a quarter and a third of the British population will have been born outside it, and at least a fifth of the native population will have emigrated. Britain has always had immigrants--from the French Huguenots after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes to Germans fleeing Prussian repression, from Jews escaping czarist oppression to Italian prisoners of war who stayed on after World War II--and absorbed them. But never so many, or so quickly.

To the anxiety about these unprecedented demographic changes--a substantial majority of the public, when asked, says that it wants a dramatic reduction in immigration--one can add a reticence in openly expressing it. Inducing this hesitancy are intellectuals of the self-hating variety, who welcome the destruction of the national identity and who argue--in part, correctly--that every person's identity is multiple; that identity can and ought to change over time; and that too strong an emphasis on national identity has in the past led to barbarism. By reiteration, they have insinuated a sense of guilt into everyone's mind, so that even to doubt the wisdom or viability of a society consisting of myriad ethnic and religious groups with no mutual sympathy (and often with mutual antagonisms) is to suspect oneself of sliding toward extreme nationalism or fascism; so that even to doubt the wisdom or viability of a society in which everyone feels himself part of an oppressed minority puts one in the same category as Jean-Marie Le Pen, or worse. This anxiety inhibits discussion of the cultural question. In view of Europe's twentieth century, the inhibition is understandable. One consequence, however, is that little attempt has been made to question what attachment Britain's immigrants have to the traditions and institutions of their new home.

Apart from any such reticence that intellectuals have managed to inculcate in me, I admit to an ambivalence about the unprecedented diversity of British society. True, one feels a certain exhilaration seeing people of so many different origins going about their business in apparent peace. You find Indian shops specializing in Polish provisions. Young women in Somali costume speak English with broad regional accents. Popular music of many regions of the world--all of it much less horrible than its British or American equivalent--emerges from shops selling exotic produce. The peaceful mixture is a reassurance that our society is indeed open, flexible, and tolerant. And whatever other effects that the influx of people from every corner of the world may have had, it has dramatically improved the quality of food available in Britain.

Further, much in my family history weighs against any too-sweeping denunciation of immigration. I am the child and grandchild of refugees who met with precisely the same kind of anti-immigration arguments current today, and it would be unseemly for me now to deny others the immense advantages that I have enjoyed. In any case, it is clearly possible and even common for immigrants and their descendants to become deeply attached to the culture and institutions of the country that has preserved them from a terrible fate.

When I survey my own social circle, moreover, I discover an astonishing variety of origins (though doubtless Americans would not find it surprising). Recently, my wife and I received an invitation to a lunch party. I have already mentioned my own provenance. My wife's paternal grandparents were Greeks from Smyrna, fortunate to have found refuge in France when the entire Greek population of the city was either killed or had to leave because of the war between Greece and Turkey in 1920. Our host was a Sikh doctor who had been on duty in a Delhi hospital when Indira Gandhi's body was brought in after her Sikh bodyguard assassinated her; the doctor had to flee for his life from a Sikh-killing mob. His wife was a Greek Cypriot who as a child had fled the Turkish invasion of the island, during which her parents lost everything before coming to England. Thus all of us, either directly or through close relatives, knew the horrors to which too exclusive a national or religious identity might lead. And none of us had any doubts about the evils of dehumanizing those who do not share one's national, cultural, or religious identity.

But we did not conclude that it was best, then, to have no national, religious, or cultural identity at all. The institutions that allow one to live in peace, freedom, and security require loyalty (not necessarily of a blind variety); and loyalty in turn requires a sense of identification. In a world in which sovereignty must exist, some kind of identification with that sovereignty is also necessary: too rigid a national identity has its dangers, but so does too loose a one. The first results in aggression toward and denigration of others; the second in society's disintegration from within, which can then provoke authoritarian attempts at repair.

Love of country has never implied for me an unawareness of its shortcomings or a hatred of other nations. I have lived happily abroad much of my life and have seen virtues in every country in which I have lived, some absent from my own. I feel vastly more at ease with cultivated foreigners than with many of the natives of the land of my birth. Those foreigners usually have a much better appreciation of all that is best in British culture than many natives now have. If you want to hear beautiful spoken English these days, seek out educated Indians or Africans.

But nor can one deny, if one is honest (and this is true of every Western European country), that many in the unprecedented influx of immigrants, often poorly educated, have little interest in, or appreciation of, the society to which they have come. Many are not learning to speak English, or speak it poorly, and forced marriages and other practices foreign to British law and custom remain common among them. A government report several years ago found that Britain's whites and ethnic minorities led radically separate lives, with no sense of shared nationality. And as is now well-known, a disturbing number of British Muslims have proved susceptible to the ideology of Islamism. A recent survey found that 40 percent of British Muslims under 24 wanted to live under sharia; 36 percent supported the death penalty for apostasy. Significantly, the figures for older Muslims were considerably lower. Another poll found that a fifth of all British Muslims had sympathy with the "feelings and motives" of the London suicide bombers. Only a third of British Muslims, a Guardian survey found, want more integration into British culture.

The doctrine of multiculturalism arose, at least in Holland, as a response to the immigration influx, believed initially to be temporary. The original purpose of multiculturalism was to preserve the culture of European "guest workers" so that when they returned home, having completed their labor contracts, they would not feel dislocated by their time away. The doctrine became a shibboleth of the Left, a useful tool of cultural dismantlement, only after family reunion in the name of humanitarianism became normal policy during the 1960s and the guest workers transformed into permanent residents.

Living in two countries, France and Britain, I have found it instructive to compare how each has gone about welcoming (if that is the word I seek) these immigrants. Each has gotten one thing right and one thing wrong: but the French situation, for all the urban violence that broke out in 2005 among the Muslim "youth," is easier, at least in theory, to put right.

France has the easier task, perhaps, because it is an ideological, or at least a philosophical, state, while Britain is an organic one. The French state, unlike the ancient country it rules, is a new, reborn state. It has a foundation myth, that of the French Revolution, which ushered in the age of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity. It doesn't matter whether France has ever achieved any of those desiderata in practice (what political ideal ever has been achieved, at least unequivocally?), or that the storming of the Bastille was in reality more sordid than glorious. The terms "republican equality" and "republican elitism" (the second, the achievement of status by means of effort and talent, an outgrowth of the first) do in fact mean something, and they exert a magnetic pull on almost every mind with which they come into contact. And the exaltation of this myth, which supposed that Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity were every man's birthright andthat France was a beacon shining the light of reason to the whole world, has meant that (in theory) everyone who makes France his home becomes a Frenchman tout court--not an Armenian Frenchman or a Malian one, but just a Frenchman.

This myth has actually guided French cultural policy. That France, as a result of the Revolution, has for a long time been a secular state de jure, rather than merely de facto, as is Britain (where religious tolerance is an outgrowth of custom, not law), enabled it to abolish headscarves in the public schools without incurring the odium of anti-Muslim bigotry. The ban simply accorded with the state's secular founding philosophy. Multiculturalism, that is, is not compatible with the founding Enlightenment mythology of France; assimilation, not integration, is the goal. Everyone learns the same history in France; and nos ancetres les gaulois comes to express not a biological but a cultural truth--and an easy-to-understand one, at that.

Britain's situation is very different. It is not an ideological state; it has no foundation myths that are easy to identify with. The Battle of Hastings was too long ago and psychologically distant to have any resonance now; the Glorious Revolution of 1688 was too muted an affair, frankly not bloody or heroic enough. As for the English Civil War, its moral meaning is too equivocal: as W. C. Sellars and R. J. Yeatman put it in 1066 and All That, the Roundheads were Right but Repulsive, while the Cavaliers were Wrong but Wromantic.

The French state started with a philosophical big bang; the British state evolved. The French state prescribed; the British state did not forbid. The traditions of the British state, therefore, were much more favorable to multiculturalism, having always allowed people to form associations for their own freely chosen purposes. This lack of central direction served society well while differences among groups were relatively minor and while numbers of immigrants were small; but once there were so many different groups with nothing in common, each with numbers enough to form a ghetto--and worse still, some of them actively hostile to the overarching order of British society--then the laissez-faire approach was bound to run into difficulty. It is hard to oppose an ideology with a tradition.

Even absent multicultural doctrinalism, it would not have been easy to explain the advantages and philosophical underpinnings of the Burkean, nonideological state to peasants newly arrived from, say, the Pakistani Punjab and Bangladesh. The advantages and underpinnings are like the rules of cricket: one can with application and dedication learn them, but it is far easier to assume them as part of your mental and cultural heritage, to be born into them. What could you give the immigrants to read that would explain the British political tradition to them? Reflections on the Revolution in France, perhaps, or Michael Oakeshott's Rationalism in Politics? Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity is a slogan, and much easier to teach and to learn.

Making matters worse, in Britain, multiculturalism became a career opportunity and a source of political patronage. So-called experts on cultural sensitivity and equal opportunity--generally people whose ambitions far exceeded their talent, except for bureaucratic intrigue--built little empires, whose continued existence depended on the permanence of racial and other divisions in society. The hospital where I once worked recently sent a questionnaire to its staff, asking them to supply the personnel department with details of their race (17 categories), their sexual orientation (6 categories), their marital status (6 categories), and their religion (7 categories), so that discrimination against any of the 4,284 possible resultant categories might be eliminated. Clearly, there is no end to the work of the bureaucrats of equal opportunity.

It is perhaps not so surprising, then, that French Muslim immigrants are better integrated culturally than British ones. Pew Center research shows that six times as many Muslims in France as in Britain consider their national identity more important than their religious one: 42 percent versus 7 percent. (This difference may not result solely from cultural policy, since Muslims from North Africa, from which most French Muslim immigrants arrive, are much likelier in the first place to believe that Islam is compatible with Western citizenship.) Muslims in France also are much less distinguishable from the rest of the population by their mode of dress than is the case with their counterparts in Britain. In the Muslim areas in France, you may notice something different about the people, but you do not think, as increasingly you do in Britain, that the population of the North-West Frontier has moved en masse to the inner cities or suburbs. And this greater cultural assimilation is true notwithstanding the fact that Muslim areas in France, unlike those in Britain, are as physically separate from many of the towns and cities as the black townships were from the white cities of South Africa.

There is another major difference between the Muslim areas of France and Britain, however: this time, to Britain's advantage. The relative ease of starting a business in Britain by comparison with heavily regulated France means that small businesses dominate Britain's Muslim neighborhoods, whereas there are none in the banlieues of France--unless you count open drug dealing as a business. (This is one of the reasons why London is now the seventh-largest French-speaking city in the world: many ambitious young French people, Muslims included, move there to found businesses.) And since many of the businesses in the Muslim areas in Britain are restaurants favored by non-Muslim customers, the isolation of Muslims from the general population is not as great as in France.

However, increased contact between people does not necessarily result in increased sympathy among them. A large proportion of the indigenous Muslim terrorists caught in Britain are children of prosperous small businessmen, who have been to university and whose individual prospects for the future were good, if they had chosen to follow a normal career path. Cultural dislocation, the readiness to hand of an ideology of hatred that seems to answer their personal need for a fixed identity and an end to cultural confusion, and a disposable income--these, not poverty, account for their terrorism.

In France, the children of Muslim immigrants may not be as alienated from mainstream culture as are those in Britain; but the inflexibility of the French labor market results in a long-term unemployment that embitters them. In Britain, by contrast, relative economic success has not led to cultural integration: so you have riots in France and terrorism in Britain.

The solution (for which it may now be too late, despite post-London-bombing genuflections on the part of then-prime minister Tony Blair and then-chancellor of the exchequer Gordon Brown in the direction of the very national values they had done so much previously to undermine) would be a combination of French cultural robustness with British economic flexibility: something like the American ideal of the melting pot, in fact, which relied (and, to some degree, relies still) on a clear idea of what it means to be an American, combined with economic openness. The British notion that economic opportunity without a shared culture will result in a flourishing society is whistling in the wind; while the French idea that it is enough to teach Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity while obstructing the possibility of real economic advancement is asking for trouble.

Aware of the polls on immigration, Brown's Labour government has just taken some hesitant but sensible steps, putting aspiring British citizens on "probation" to show that they can speak English, pay taxes, and avoid jail before granting them citizenship. Britain and France, though, have never been very good at learning from each other: the Channel might as well be an ocean.


Hundreds of British prison inmates set for release

For once I agree with the British government. If you are going to have long sentences for violent offenders and sex offenders, you have to have reduced sentences for other offenders. Jails are not made of elastic

The Government has drawn up plans to release hundreds of criminals from jail early, it was revealed. About 550 non-violent and non-sexual offenders will be automatically freed halfway through their sentences, instead of having to wait until the two-thirds point. Jails in England and Wales have been instructed to let out eligible offenders from June 9, and warned by Prison Service HQ that failing to do so would amount to "unlawful detention". The releases will take place over the next 14 months.

Prisons Handbook editor Mark Leech said the move undermined judges who sentenced the offenders believing that automatic release would take place two-thirds of the way through a jail term.

The measures were first discussed in last year's report on the prison system by Government trouble-shooter Lord Carter of Coles, and contained in the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act, passed by Parliament earlier this month. But the full impact of the steps has only just come to light. Justice Secretary Jack Straw's plan is expected to free urgently-required space in overcrowded jails, as inmate numbers reach a record 83,000 in England and Wales.

The early release plan equalises the arrangements for offenders sentenced under the 1991 Criminal Justice Act with those punished under Labour's 2003 Criminal Justice Act, which came into force in April 2005. A Ministry of Justice spokeswoman said: "To allow the Parole Board to focus resources on violent and sexual offenders, we are implementing the Carter review recommendation on June 9 which will align the release arrangements for certain prisoners. "This provision, which passed into law through the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 without opposition, will mean this group of prisoners convicted under the 1991 Act serving a sentence of four years or more but less than life will be released at the halfway point of their sentence."



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. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

It's only "racist" if whites attack blacks

The other way around and the media is as silent as the grave about the races involved. The killing of a white British actor by stabbing has got a lot of attention in the British media in the last few days. The description of the murderer by the BBC is typical: "Unemployed Karl Bishop is accused of killing the teenager and with wounding five other people. Mr Bishop, of Carlton Road, Sidcup, will appear in Bexleyheath Magistrates Court on Tuesday". Below is the ONE report (and I have looked at many) which mentioned the race of "Mr Bishop" from the beginning. It is from the "Sun", which never seems to care much about political correctness. A day later, however, The Times also mentioned the forbidden word, "black", possibly because the BNP has been publicizing it:

A teenage Harry Potter film actor was murdered over a dispute involving an alleged mobile phone theft, according to a friend of the victim. Rob Knox, 18, died in a street attack around 1am on Saturday outside the Metro Bar in Station Road, Sidcup, Kent. Four other men were also injured. One was stabbed in the head.

A youth, who asked not to be named, said: "I was in the pub with Rob so I know exactly what happened. I was a friend of Rob and his brother Jamie. I wasn't drinking with them but I see them and I chatted to them during the night before the stabbing. "One of Rob's mates had his mobile phone stolen last week and he accused a black bloke in the bar of taking it. "There was a bit of trouble at the time but nothing serious. Then last night, earlier in the evening, this black bloke was in the bar again and Rob's mate went up to him "The black bloke went off and said he would be back. We knew there was possibly going to be some aggro but we never expected anything like that.

"It was around midnight when this car pulled up outside and I saw two black blokes get out and come into the bar. One of them was shouting something at Jamie and then he threw a chair at him. "The next thing it all went mad and there were several blokes fighting. I stayed inside the bar so I didn't really see what happened outside but I heard that one of the black blokes had two knives on him and he was stabbing anyone who went near him. "It seems crazy that a young bloke has lost his life over a mobile phone. Rob was a decent lad. I'm absolutely gutted that he has died."

More here

Politically Incorrect Soccer Injuries

Suppose you ran a physical education program and discovered that girls were much more likely to suffer serious injuries than boys are. Before recruiting any more girls, would you want to alert them to this fact?

Doesn't seem like a hard question, does it? But the answer is controversial question in some circles, as Michael Sokolove reports in his Times Magazine cover story on girls' soccer injuries. He notes that female soccer players are 50 percent more likely to be injured than male soccer players, and up to five times more likely to suffer serious knee injuries. (My Science Times colleague Gina Kolata also wrote about these injuries recently.) Perhaps "the biggest obstacle" to dealing with these injuries, Mr. Sokolove writes, has been a longstanding reluctance to acknowledge any gender disparity:
Advocates for women's sports have had to keep a laser focus on one thing: making sure they have equal access to high-school and college sports. It's hard to fight for equal rights while also broadcasting alarm about injuries that might suggest women are too delicate to play certain games or to play them at a high level of intensity.
I'm not surprised at the advocates' reluctance, because for decades it's been politically incorrect to discuss certain gender differences when it comes to sports. The pendulum swung from one extreme - telling girls that they were too weak to compete - to the other extreme portraying girls as just smaller versions of boys: just as interested in competitive sports, just as likely to benefit from the long training required to become elite college athletes. What started out as an understandable desire to give girls equal opportunities turned into a campaign to legally mandate equal outcomes. If girls seemed to show less interest than boys did in competitive sports, it was blamed on discrimination.

Full post here

The insane priorities of socialist Britain

The first anger is for Khyra Ishaq, a small child apparently starved to death in a land of plenty, under the supposed care of a mother and stepfather. How far the social services are at fault is under investigation; but save a burst of fury too for Khyra's father, Ishaq Abu Zaire (known as Delroy Frances before his conversion). While blithely admitting he hadn't seen his children for a year he now blusters: "The authorities never lifted a finger... there are going to be consequences and repercussions I can assure you."

Look, Mr Abu Zaire, what part of the word "father" do you, a "religious" man, not grasp? In begetting children, you accept responsibility. Even if the mother shuts you out and you move away, you have a duty to check on them more than once a year. If you can't be bothered, then don't procreate. Public services are a safety net, not a spare parent.

Turning to the social services, though, one chilling observation was made by Eileen Munro, a child protection expert from the LSE. She said that serious neglect is common, but that social workers operating in poor areas simply miss the signs. "They get used to seeing low-level parenting. That then starts to look average. They fail to appreciate how much harm it is doing."

That, rather than more florid accusations, offers the most damning line yet about the state of social work, its understaffed overstretch, its chronic miscommunication. The weary resignation she describes is aggravated further by politically correct worries that make field workers nervous of seeming "racist". Who can forget the evidence in the Victoria Climbi‚ inquiry that officials put the child's visible terror and quietness down to "a culture of strict discipline in African families"?

Of course families bear prime responsibility, of course social work can't prevent every tragedy - but there are issues to be faced. One would think that governments would focus on them with relentless energy, driven by shame that a rich society should have welfare workers so used to seeing suffering children that they stop noticing that the parents are addicts, fanatics, mentally impaired or simply incompetent. And yes, there is poverty in Britain, but don't insult the merely poor: they aren't all neglectful. Many do heroically well.

Government seems not to feel this anger. Where little children are concerned, ministers - and here comes the satirical backcloth - are far keener on micromanaging those who are already perfectly OK. They like to impose their will on soft, law-abiding families rather than intractable and uncivilised ones. Take the current furore over the Early Years Foundation Stage, or EYFS, a national curriculum of 500 developmental milestones to be met by children under 5: 69 skills must be ticked off, box by box, by their carers. EYFS will be compulsory from this autumn - even for private nurseries, even for childminders (who are quitting, in droves, for fear of it).

The independent sector has now kicked up a fuss, not before time. The detail of EYFS "aspirations" is unnerving: take its IT targets, recently underlined by the Open Eye campaign and condemned in an authoritative paper by the psychologist Aric Sigman. Before 36 months a child must "use control technology of toys" and "talk about ICT apparatus", and before hitting five years old must use a mouse and keyboard, click on icons, "complete a simple program on a computer" and use "programmable toys" to support learning.

Why? Dr Sigman cites compelling research from Harvard on the risks of early overexposure to screens: serious educational, neurological and social problems have been identified, including a lack of ability to connect with people, and problems with short attention span. "The Government appears," says the campaign, "to have leapt on to an increasingly discredited IT bandwagon that is not only embarrassingly out of date but could well be harming a generation. Schooling is not compulsory until over 5, yet the Government is forcing nurseries and care-givers to follow its line on learning and development." Open Eye simply asks ministers to make the "goals" optional, and leave parents and carers some freedom of judgment.

But the irony here - whoops, red mist of rage returns - is that while we are a society that still has pockets of appalling parenting and children who die by gradual visible neglect, the kindly and reasonable majority of families are subject to endless authoritarian fiddling. While one child lies in filth and fear, taken out of school for ten weeks without a single visit from state authority, that same state authority beavers away to force every childminder to have "a range of programmable toys" and write down whether or not a three-year-old can work a keyboard and mouse.

On past form, it will be easier to avoid inspection if you leave your child bruised and starving on a heap of rags and don't answer the door, than it will be to avoid Ofsted if you are a childminder failing to make notes on the 69 early learning goals. Possibly because you were all too busy having fun in the sandpit.


Australia: Aboriginal activist condemns Aboriginal bureaucrats

The part-Aboriginal stirrer below is both right and wrong: Right about the useless bureaucrats and wrong in thinking that there is actually something that they could do if they tried.

The implicit goal of the do-gooders is to make whites out of blacks. It is an absurdity. All sorts of policies have been tried with that as the implicit aim but nothing works, of course. I have been watching the permutations for 50 years and the least destructive policies were the ones of the missionaries of now long bygone years. They were "paternalistic" but the blacks were undoubtedly healthier and less self-destructive then. And some blacks back then DID make a fairly successful transition to mainstream white society. The coming of welfare payments was the real knell of doom for blacks, however. They have now lost their own culture without acquiring the white man's culture. They are truly lost souls and I can see no way forward for them in the present political climate -- or perhaps ever.

Meanwhile the organizations devoted to Aboriginal welfare are just providers of cushy jobs for Leftists with second-rate academic qualifications. And about all they do is sit on their behinds and suck tea.

Tackling indigenous disadvantage was being hindered because tens of thousands of people employed in the "Aboriginal industry" were simply collecting their salary and serving out time instead of tackling the hard issues, according to a leading Aboriginal academic. Queenslander Stephen Hagan made the claim in his weekend Rob Riley memorial lecture in Perth, during which he questioned whether remote communities should continue to exist or should be shut down.

Mr Hagan, a lecturer at Toowoomba's Southern Cross University, said domestic violence in communities, which had led to increasing killings of Aboriginal women in remote parts of central Australia, required "a seismic shift in attitude". "We all need to pool our collective thoughts on how we can best tackle this insidious problem afflicting our communities that has obviously been allowed to fester unchallenged by people in positions of responsibility for far too long," he said.

"This skinny latte ideology suggests that many public figures, indigenous and non-indigenous, working in the indigenous industry have taken a lighter option to heavy lifting when tackling indigenous disadvantage - safe in the knowledge that results in their field are not aspirational outcomes that governments expect to see. "So instead of being proactive in the task at hand, many sadly are simply going through the process of ensuring their adherence to their duty statement is not brought into question, while accumulating their superannuation entitlements through the passage of time. "Many simply wait their turn for a comfortable middle-management job to present itself, without a worry in the world about the plight of the most marginalised in society."

"A bit like drinking a skinny latte, thinking you're addressing a weight issue - the more you drink it, the more you believe it. "Those who fall into this category know who they are because they must number in the tens of thousands - as the problems at the grassroots level continue to escalate unabated."

Mr Hagan put to the audience that a possible answer to solving the problems of child abuse and domestic violence in rural and remote communities was to "shut them down". But he warned that most Australians would probably support the view adopted by senator Chris Evans in June 2006 that shutting down remote indigenous communities would only relocate the problems of violence and abuse. "Could it possibly be that indigenous Australians are a product of their inability to adapt, restructure and re-educate?" he asked.

Mr Hagan said he often marvelled at the way mainstream Australians openly assisted waves of immigrants from overseas "with empathetic outstretched hands". "Yet they (mainstream Australians) steadfastly brush us aside when we seek commensurate assistance for basic services," he said. "However, I do believe many of our mob are doing themselves a disservice by routinely singing the 'poor bugger me' tune, while apportioning blame to non-indigenous people for their insufferably slow progress in gaining social and economic parity."



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. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Crime of Being White

Recently I wrote a piece about Keith John Sampson, a college student who was charged with "racial harassment" for reading an anti-Ku Klux Klan book. Not surprisingly, the article evoked a great response, including emails from those with their own stories to tell about persecution inspired by what I will call caucaphobia. A couple of these accounts are so compelling -- compared to one even Sampson's problems pale -- I've decided to publish them in this piece (both readers allowed me to use their names; their correspondence has been edited for punctuation, grammar and style). These are the stories the mainstream media won't tell, straight from the front lines of the culture war. They give voice to a persecution whose name most dare not utter. First we have Mr. David Gonzalez of Illinois. He wrote:
Dear Mr. Duke,

I can empathize with Mr. Sampson. I've been through the same sort of ordeal. After retiring from the U.S. Navy, I accepted a position with Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry as its Manager of Safety (I'm a safety engineer). After four years there, a female (black-militant) employee noticed my tie bar (Celtic knot-work with the emblem of my Celtic family - despite my Iberian surname, gained by being adopted, my genetic heritage is Scot/Irish) and asked me what it was. Stupidly, I responded, `This? Oh, it's just my clan badge [referring to the Scottish clan from which he was descended].'

I'll leave it to you to guess what ensued. I'll tell you this: by the next morning, the rumor that I had been `outed' as a Klansman had spread, like wildfire, through the ranks of the museum's black employees (~ 60%). Two security officers frog-marched me out of a class I had been teaching (with every black person in the room glaring at me, with utter loathing!) and escorted me to my boss's office -- there to be grilled by him. Later in the day, I was called back in and fired from my position.

As I said, I can empathize.
Note that the very people who tout multiculturalism, ethnic sensitivity and tolerance violated the tenets of all three in their names. Not only was no respect shown for Mr. Gonzalez' display of ethnicity, but he was actually punished for it. That's what happens when you have the "wrong" ethnic heritage.

But the hypocrisy doesn't end there. Despite the fact that one of the main links at the museum's website is labeled "education," management made no attempt to educate employees who were obviously too ignorant to know what a Scottish clan is and too bigoted to listen to reason. Instead, because of caucaphobia and/or cowardice, Gonzalez' boss listened to the mob that preferred Barabbas and crucified a good man.

The next testimonial is, believe it or not, even more staggering. It comes to us from Mr. Greg Reese, who wrote:
Dear Mr. Duke:

In the fall of 1994, I (a white American) began studying at American University in Washington, DC. At the time, I lived on campus with my Japanese roommate. I lived with him for a year and a half. In the spring of 1996, he and I started to develop problems living together. One day, while in the restroom speaking with another student, I made the comment that `we should just nuke the f******,' in reference to the Japanese. Little did I know at the time, my roommate was standing outside and overheard the comment. A few days later he moved out of the room we shared.

After that, I started to receive harassing calls. I would have unknown Japanese students knocking on my door in the middle of the night. Later, I had my property destroyed with a note from a Japanese student that he would drop a bomb on me. This was then reported to and filed with campus security.

A few days later, I had numerous charges of `threats, harassment, and intimidation' filed against me not by my roommate but the floor's Resident Assistant [RA]. In a meeting with him and the Area Director [AD] (a black immigrant from Africa), I asked how I `threatened' my roommate -- the AD stated `It was because he felt threatened.' I was also told not to go near my roommate or further charges would be filed.

I then contested the filing of the charges with the Director of Judicial Affairs (a black woman) who then had the RA amend the charges to represent my creating a `threatening' environment for the residents on the entire floor. This was done to justify the RA filing the charges rather than my ex-roommate, since I could not counter-file charges against the RA, who represented the university [in other words, they wanted to make sure he was powerless to resist this racial persecution]. I was also told by the director that this was being viewed as a `racial' incident.

At the time I was home on Spring Break. Due to all the stress created by the charges and a scheduled judicial hearing -- where I faced potentially being expelled from the university -- under medical advice I did not return to the university the rest of the semester. By not returning the situation escalated further.

Because I was enrolled full time, I drove 3.5 hours to Washington to meet with my professors concerning my classes and would return home. Unfortunately, I was not able to meet with all of them. I then requested the assistance of the dean of the business school to attempt to get incompletes for my classes. The incompletes were given with the forms signed on my behalf by the dean; however, that information was never provided to me. I thus failed the courses.

While at home, I would receive harassing phone calls from the Office of Judicial Affairs. On one message I was told I was a `liar' when I had told the director I was no longer living at the university because I had been `seen' on campus. When I returned to the university to get my possessions out of my dorm room, I was greeted by six security officers. I was escorted to my room, allowed to get my things and then taken to the campus security office, where I was photographed and told that if I ever step foot in the dorm again, I will be arrested by the DC police for `criminal trespassing.' Apparently, at the request of the RA, I had been `barred' from the dorm but yet was never provided this information. I had requested the information from security regarding the request the RA had made but they refused to provide it, stating it could be `libel.'

In the fall of 1996, my [Japanese] roommate and I spend the semester studying abroad in London. I made various offices at the university aware of the charges and that he and I would be together. I was told I would be allowed to go, but should there be any `problems,' I would be immediately sent back to the United States and none of what I paid for that semester would be refunded. Then, after speaking with the Director of Residential Life the charges were dropped. She stated that my roommate would be going back to Japan and without their `key witness' they had no case. Additionally, she basically stated that next time I should keep my mouth shut, saying `think before you speak.'

During all of my communication with the university, I was told that everything was being done on my roommate's behalf. However, at the end of 1996, the director of the London program, my roommate, and I had the first opportunity to discuss what had occurred. My roommate admitted it was not racial, that he was just angry because we were having problems living together, and that it was the RA that approached him initially. Furthermore, everything that had happened to me on his `behalf' he was totally unaware of.

In the spring of 1997, I was supposed to graduate from American. However, given the status of my courses from the spring of 1996, that was in doubt. Upon returning to campus, I was informed that although the charges had been dropped, the barring from the dorm had not been. Additionally, the university's `solution' to my classes was for me to `sit in' on the courses and retake them and then I could graduate in the fall of 1997. However, this apparently was not `officially' sanctioned by the Registrar's Office.

Given a year's worth of threats, harassment, and intimidation by the university, I believed it to be nothing but a hostile environment at that point. I then submitted the paperwork to the university to withdraw. However, because of the `reasons' for my withdrawal, the dean refused to sign the paperwork. To this day, I do not know when or how I was withdrawn since they refused to provide me that information.

A year later, I then received information from the Department of Education [DOE] concerning my financial aid. According to their records, I had borrowed several thousand dollars for the spring 1997 semester. I had informed them that I had withdrawn and therefore did not borrow the money. They had no record of this. Apparently, there was a `glitch' in the computer system according to the university. The money eventually was refunded to DOE but not within the 30 days required by law. I then filed a complaint with the DOE's Office of Civil Rights given everything that had happened. However, since my complaint was being filed after the180 day limit from the first incident, it was not accepted.

Upon withdrawing from American, I then spent another 2.5 years in school to finish my degree by transferring to a local community college and then to the University of Miami in Florida. By doing so, I also put myself in debt another $30,000 on top of the $30,000 borrowed to attend American.

While I have not been at American for years, the loans have been a consistent issue. I received no benefit from that money since I had to repeat everything all over again. Thus, I have been in a constant dispute with the DOE. Their response has been, `You signed the note. You attended the classes. You owe us the money.' However, my point to them has been that for American University to qualify for the federal loan program they must comply with Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which mandates equal treatment in all operations of the university, which was not the case. I filed charges with security for being threatened by a Japanese student and nothing was done. I did nothing to my roommate and had the full weight of the university fall upon me.

As a result of my refusal to pay the loans, DOE has since garnished my wages. I was informed by them that I have a right to a hearing to contest the garnishment. I filed the appropriate forms and sent 120 pages of documents regarding the situation. My hearing was denied and the garnishment imposed. According to DOE, I had attended American until August of 2000, and, therefore, because I was still at the school, I needed to repay.

When I spoke with the representative of DOE (a black woman), she stated that I `alleged' discrimination but did not prove it. I asked her where the August 2000 date came from; she told me it was provided by American University. I told her that they were providing fraudulent information because I was at Miami at the time. She then became very belligerent, stating `I know how to do my job' and hung up on me.

So, 12 years later, I am still dealing with the repercussions of a simple comment made in a restroom at the university. Because of the various individuals involved and their own racist agenda, I have essentially had my life ruined. The future that I felt I was going to have when I first arrived at the university was taken away from me and their actions have cost me dearly -- mentally, emotionally, and financially. Every two weeks when I get paid and have the garnishment taken I am reminded of what happened. Of course, the absolute irony in all of this is that I'm still friends with my roommate.

In conclusion, I would like you to know how much I appreciate what you wrote in describing the situation Keith Sampson unfortunately found himself in. Your statement, `people of low character, often vile, ignorant, unintelligent individuals' is very accurate, although phrased much nicer than I would say it.
Unbelievable, isn't it? It's a story so outrageous that if the mainstream media actually did their job, Mr. Reese would be on 60 Minutes. Just imagine, a young man pays a pretty penny to attend a university, with dreams of bettering himself. Then, using as a pretext a loose comment no different from millions of others students make every day, the caucaphobic institution that took his money embarks upon what looks like a racial conspiracy to destroy him.

And these stories -- Sampson's, the two here, the Duke lacrosse witch hunt -- are simply those we hear about. For every one of them, how many never see the light of media exposure?

If America continues on its present course, the thought police predators who lurk on college campuses will extend their hunting grounds beyond the academy. In Europe, Canada and elsewhere, hate-speech laws have already empowered such scoundrels in the wider society. Thus, should we visit such laws on ourselves by continuing to elect leftists, you may one day find yourself at the mercy of a statist bureaucrat, a far lesser person who at best will be a mindless cog in the machinery of government, at worst a vindictive social engineer bent on your destruction. He will have more hatred than brains, more hubris than humanity, and more power than you. Then you will have your own story to tell. The only question is whether there will be anyone left to tell it to.


How my mother's fanatical views tore us apart

She's revered as a trail-blazing feminist and author Alice Walker touched the lives of a generation of women. A champion of women's rights, she has always argued that motherhood is a form of servitude. But one woman didn't buy in to Alice's beliefs - her daughter, Rebecca, 38. Here the writer describes what it was like to grow up as the daughter of a cultural icon, and why she feels so blessed to be the sort of woman 64-year-old Alice despises - a mother.

The other day I was vacuuming when my son came bounding into the room. 'Mummy, Mummy, let me help,' he cried. His little hands were grabbing me around the knees and his huge brown eyes were looking up at me. I was overwhelmed by a huge surge of happiness. I love the way his head nestles in the crook of my neck. I love the way his face falls into a mask of eager concentration when I help him learn the alphabet. But most of all, I simply love hearing his little voice calling: 'Mummy, Mummy.'

It reminds me of just how blessed I am. The truth is that I very nearly missed out on becoming a mother - thanks to being brought up by a rabid feminist who thought motherhood was about the worst thing that could happen to a woman. You see, my mum taught me that children enslave women. I grew up believing that children are millstones around your neck, and the idea that motherhood can make you blissfully happy is a complete fairytale. In fact, having a child has been the most rewarding experience of my life. Far from 'enslaving' me, three-and-a-half-year-old Tenzin has opened my world. My only regret is that I discovered the joys of motherhood so late - I have been trying for a second child for two years, but so far with no luck.

I was raised to believe that women need men like a fish needs a bicycle. But I strongly feel children need two parents and the thought of raising Tenzin without my partner, Glen, 52, would be terrifying.

As the child of divorced parents, I know only too well the painful consequences of being brought up in those circumstances. Feminism has much to answer for denigrating men and encouraging women to seek independence whatever the cost to their families.

My mother's feminist principles coloured every aspect of my life. As a little girl, I wasn't even allowed to play with dolls or stuffed toys in case they brought out a maternal instinct. It was drummed into me that being a mother, raising children and running a home were a form of slavery. Having a career, travelling the world and being independent were what really mattered according to her.

I love my mother very much, but I haven't seen her or spoken to her since I became pregnant. She has never seen my son - her only grandchild. My crime? Daring to question her ideology. Well, so be it. My mother may be revered by women around the world - goodness knows, many even have shrines to her. But I honestly believe it's time to puncture the myth and to reveal what life was really like to grow up as a child of the feminist revolution.

My parents met and fell in love in Mississippi during the civil rights movement. Dad [Mel Leventhal], was the brilliant lawyer son of a Jewish family who had fled the Holocaust. Mum was the impoverished eighth child of sharecroppers from Georgia. When they married in 1967, inter-racial weddings were still illegal in some states. My early childhood was very happy although my parents were terribly busy, encouraging me to grow up fast. I was only one when I was sent off to nursery school. I'm told they even made me walk down the street to the school.

When I was eight, my parents divorced. From then on I was shuttled between two worlds - my father's very conservative, traditional, wealthy, white suburban community in New York, and my mother's avant garde multi-racial community in California. I spent two years with each parent - a bizarre way of doing things.

Ironically, my mother regards herself as a hugely maternal woman. Believing that women are suppressed, she has campaigned for their rights around the world and set up organisations to aid women abandoned in Africa - offering herself up as a mother figure. But, while she has taken care of daughters all over the world and is hugely revered for her public work and service, my childhood tells a very different story. I came very low down in her priorities - after work, political integrity, self-fulfilment, friendships, spiritual life, fame and travel. My mother would always do what she wanted - for example taking off to Greece for two months in the summer, leaving me with relatives when I was a teenager. Is that independent, or just plain selfish?

I was 16 when I found a now-famous poem she wrote comparing me to various calamities that struck and impeded the lives of other women writers. Virginia Woolf was mentally ill and the Brontes died prematurely. My mother had me - a 'delightful distraction', but a calamity nevertheless. I found that a huge shock and very upsetting.

According to the strident feminist ideology of the Seventies, women were sisters first, and my mother chose to see me as a sister rather than a daughter. From the age of 13, I spent days at a time alone while my mother retreated to her writing studio - some 100 miles away. I was left with money to buy my own meals and lived on a diet of fast food.

Sisters together

A neighbour, not much older than me, was deputised to look after me. I never complained. I saw it as my job to protect my mother and never distract her from her writing. It never crossed my mind to say that I needed some time and attention from her. When I was beaten up at school - accused of being a snob because I had lighter skin than my black classmates - I always told my mother that everything was fine, that I had won the fight. I didn't want to worry her. But the truth was I was very lonely and, with my mother's knowledge, started having sex at 13. I guess it was a relief for my mother as it meant I was less demanding. And she felt that being sexually active was empowering for me because it meant I was in control of my body.

Now I simply cannot understand how she could have been so permissive. I barely want my son to leave the house on a play-date, let alone start sleeping around while barely out of junior school. A good mother is attentive, sets boundaries and makes the world safe for her child. But my mother did none of those things.

Although I was on the Pill - something I had arranged at 13, visiting the doctor with my best friend - I fell pregnant at 14. I organised an abortion myself. Now I shudder at the memory. I was only a little girl. I don't remember my mother being shocked or upset. She tried to be supportive, accompanying me with her boyfriend.

Although I believe that an abortion was the right decision for me then, the aftermath haunted me for decades. It ate away at my self-confidence and, until I had Tenzin, I was terrified that I'd never be able to have a baby because of what I had done to the child I had destroyed. For feminists to say that abortion carries no consequences is simply wrong.

As a child, I was terribly confused, because while I was being fed a strong feminist message, I actually yearned for a traditional mother. My father's second wife, Judy, was a loving, maternal homemaker with five children she doted on. There was always food in the fridge and she did all the things my mother didn't, such as attending their school events, taking endless photos and telling her children at every opportunity how wonderful they were.

My mother was the polar opposite. She never came to a single school event, she didn't buy me any clothes, she didn't even help me buy my first bra - a friend was paid to go shopping with me. If I needed help with homework I asked my boyfriend's mother.

Moving between the two homes was terrible. At my father's home I felt much more taken care of. But, if I told my mother that I'd had a good time with Judy, she'd look bereft - making me feel I was choosing this white, privileged woman above her. I was made to feel that I had to choose one set of ideals above the other.

When I hit my 20s and first felt a longing to be a mother, I was totally confused. I could feel my biological clock ticking, but I felt if I listened to it, I would be betraying my mother and all she had taught me. I tried to push it to the back of my mind, but over the next ten years the longing became more intense, and when I met Glen, a teacher, at a seminar five years ago, I knew I had found the man I wanted to have a baby with. Gentle, kind and hugely supportive, he is, as I knew he would be, the most wonderful father.

Although I knew what my mother felt about babies, I still hoped that when I told her I was pregnant, she would be excited for me. Instead, when I called her one morning in the spring of 2004, while I was at one of her homes housesitting, and told her my news and that I'd never been happier, she went very quiet. All she could say was that she was shocked. Then she asked if I could check on her garden. I put the phone down and sobbed - she had deliberately withheld her approval with the intention of hurting me. What loving mother would do that? Worse was to follow. My mother took umbrage at an interview in which I'd mentioned that my parents didn't protect or look out for me. She sent me an e-mail, threatening to undermine my reputation as a writer. I couldn't believe she could be so hurtful - particularly when I was pregnant.

Devastated, I asked her to apologise and acknowledge how much she'd hurt me over the years with neglect, withholding affection and resenting me for things I had no control over - the fact that I am mixed-race, that I have a wealthy, white, professional father and that I was born at all. But she wouldn't back down. Instead, she wrote me a letter saying that our relationship had been inconsequential for years and that she was no longer interested in being my mother. She even signed the letter with her first name, rather than 'Mom'.

That was a month before Tenzin's birth in December 2004, and I have had no contact with my mother since. She didn't even get in touch when he was rushed into the special care baby unit after he was born suffering breathing difficulties.

And I have since heard that my mother has cut me out of her will in favour of one of my cousins. I feel terribly sad - my mother is missing such a great opportunity to be close to her family. But I'm also relieved. Unlike most mothers, mine has never taken any pride in my achievements. She has always had a strange competitiveness that led her to undermine me at almost every turn. When I got into Yale - a huge achievement - she asked why on earth I wanted to be educated at such a male bastion. Whenever I published anything, she wanted to write her version - trying to eclipse mine. When I wrote my memoir, Black, White And Jewish, my mother insisted on publishing her version. She finds it impossible to step out of the limelight, which is extremely ironic in light of her view that all women are sisters and should support one another.

It's been almost four years since I have had any contact with my mother, but it's for the best - not only for my self-protection but for my son's well-being. I've done all I can to be a loyal, loving daughter, but I can no longer have this poisonous relationship destroy my life. I know many women are shocked by my views. They expect the daughter of Alice Walker to deliver a very different message. Yes, feminism has undoubtedly given women opportunities. It's helped open the doors for us at schools, universities and in the workplace. But what about the problems it's caused for my contemporaries?

The ease with which people can get divorced these days doesn't take into account the toll on children. That's all part of the unfinished business of feminism. Then there is the issue of not having children. Even now, I meet women in their 30s who are ambivalent about having a family. They say things like: 'I'd like a child. If it happens, it happens.' I tell them: 'Go home and get on with it because your window of opportunity is very small.' As I know only too well.

Then I meet women in their 40s who are devastated because they spent two decades working on a PhD or becoming a partner in a law firm, and they missed out on having a family. Thanks to the feminist movement, they discounted their biological clocks. They've missed the opportunity and they're bereft. Feminism has betrayed an entire generation of women into childlessness. It is devastating.

But far from taking responsibility for any of this, the leaders of the women's movement close ranks against anyone who dares to question them - as I have learned to my cost. I don't want to hurt my mother, but I cannot stay silent. I believe feminism is an experiment, and all experiments need to be assessed on their results. Then, when you see huge mistakes have been paid, you need to make alterations.

I hope that my mother and I will be reconciled one day. Tenzin deserves to have a grandmother. But I am just so relieved that my viewpoint is no longer so utterly coloured by my mother's. I am my own woman and I have discovered what really matters - a happy family.


Maybe Allah isn't on their side

You would think that by now Allah's message might be getting through. Time after time Muslim fanatics attempt to wreak devastation in Britain - and succeed only in blowing themselves up, or setting themselves on fire, or their explosives refuse to do the decent thing and explode - while we infidel cockroaches look on in bemusement, quite unharmed.

If you were a devout believer, you might put two and two together and begin to suspect that Allah doesn't entirely approve of blowing British people to bits. He would much rather his jihadis stayed at home and watched the Eurovision Song Contest, or did a spot of gardening, or took the dog for a walk.

It is presumptuous of me to second-guess Allah's thought processes, of course. But then quite a few incendiary Muslim clerics insisted that the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami was down to Allah being a bit peeved at the state of the world and unleashing his righteous watery vengeance upon it. To which you might reply that it was very odd of Him, then, to single out a devoutly Muslim country, Indonesia, for the brunt of the carnage. Maybe He just missed.

It seems that the chap who successfully maimed himself in Exeter had somehow been got at by extremists, according to the police. Nicky Reilly, 22, is very reclusive and apparently has a history of mental illness. "We believe that he was preyed upon, radicalised and taken advantage of," a copper said, surprisingly quickly after they had arrested him.

So it may well be that the fundamentalists have resorted to that brave and noble tactic of sending the mentally impaired or deeply troubled off to do their dirty work, lacking the resolve and commitment to do so themselves. Al-Qaeda, you may remember, strapped explosives to two women who'd suffered from mental illness and sent them to a market in downtown Baghdad where these walking bombs were detonated remotely, wiping them out together with 91 other people.

On the other hand, we should remember that this latest botched attack took place in Exeter, a city less accustomed to finding itself the target of Islamist fury than, say, Tel Aviv or New York. It may be simply that the Devon and Cornwall police are unfamiliar with the usual IQ levels of Muslim terrorists.

I suppose that many years hence the terrible destruction of the twin towers will still be lodged in our minds, the image of the buildings crumpling, the video of Osama Bin Laden sniggering in his cave. But a similarly iconic image would be of the moron Richard Reid trying desperately to set his training shoe on fire on a plane, having forgotten to bring a lighter. They are either extraordinarily useless or Allah has got it in for them.


A suggestion for fighting knife crime

Why doesn't Britain stop the kid-glove approach and start enforcing the existing laws?

The murder on Saturday of 18-year-old Robert Knox has prompted, as have the other 27 teenage murders so far this year, a flood of suggestions as to how we can deal with the epidemic of knife crime that seems to have infected our streets. From analysis of the role of parents to depictions of the gang culture and turf wars that blight so many areas, most have added something useful to our understanding.

So it might seem that another comment is hardly needed. Yet for all the analysis that has been offered and the policy ideas that have been suggested, one basic point seems to have been forgotten. We have yet to try properly using the laws already on the statute book, let alone start properly punishing those found in possession of knives.

Over the past decade, the number of convictions for carrying a knife has risen from 3,360 in 1997 to 6,314 in 2006. Of those convicted in 1997, 482 were teenagers, rising in 2006 to 1,256. That near trebling in the number of teenagers convicted is bad enough. Worse, however, are surveys showing that about one in five teenagers say that they carry a knife with them.

Given the rapid development of a teenage culture in which carrying a knife is seen as normal, not to say essential for self-defence, it is understandable that there have been calls to toughen the relevant laws. The current maximum sentence for knife carrying is two years, or four years if the knife is carried to school.

But since we do not enforce the existing laws properly, it is fatuous to suggest that tougher maximum penalties would serve any useful purpose. They would be ignored just like the existing maximum penalties.

In 2006, only nine of the 6,314 people convicted of carrying a knife were handed down a maximum sentence. Most were given a caution. And I would bet a small fortune on not one of those nine criminals - 0.14 per cent of those convicted - actually being made to serve the full sentence they were given.

Despite the penalties available, the authorities treat this potentially deadly crime as an infringement of the law akin to pilfering an apple from a grocer. This has to change. The courts must use the punishments available to them. Children need to understand that, if caught, their childhood will effectively be over and they will suffer severe punishment.

That also means that the police must be given full powers to stop and search children. But instead, not only do the courts and CPS treat children found with knives with kid gloves, dangerous idiots such as Sir Al Aynsley-Green, to whom we pay œ130,000 a year for his wisdom as the Children's Commissioner for England, warn that allowing police the power to search children might antagonise them. That just about sums up how the whole edifice works: God forbid that a potential murderer is upset by having his coat examined.



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. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.