Elizabeth Wright is editor of the newsletter, Issues & Views, (issuesview.blogspot.com) initially published in 1985 as a hard copy edition. She calls herself an Old Right Conservative with a libertarian streak. This article is republished with the permission of Elizabeth Wright. It was published originally in September 12, 2006
Black blogger Byron Crawford sort of, kind of, gets it. Usually quite caustic in his anti-white bias, this time he realistically speculates on the degree to which so-called white privilege might be indelibly linked to the privileges of freedom enjoyed by all Americans, including blacks.
After first making it clear that he cares nothing about legions of immigrants who might eventually cause white people to lose their dominant position in American society, their "white privilege," Crawford then reconsiders:
I wonder how much [of] what you might call American privilege is tied up in white privilege. If the U.S. becomes something along the lines of Mexico, we all stand to lose something.
In other words, isn't the way of life that we enjoy as Americans steeped in the culture of the Anglo-Euros and the "privileges" they first devised for themselves?
And don't these privileges that are so much a part of our everyday liberties, flow to all citizens of this country?
Crawford hints at the Big Question, but will not ask it outright, so I will.
What will be the consequence of other cultures dominating this formerly Anglo land? Will it matter to blacks if Asian groups, led by the Chinese and East Indians, displace the leading whites? (In the end, a century from now, regardless of the size of the Hispanic/Latino population, the Chinese and East Indians probably will have navigated their way to the national leadership positions.)
As the Anglo-Euro population diminishes, why would people from these alien cultures subscribe to the prescriptions of a Thomas Jefferson, or care about the legacy of Magna Carta?
When would the squabbling between the various ethnics begin over whose law is wisest and best fit to rule in the new, predominantly colored America?
From the behavior and actions of black leaders, one would think that a radical shift in the country's demographic make-up would have no impact on the lives of blacks. In fact, they would have us believe that decades of mass immigration that is bringing about the "browning" of America is having no impact on any aspect of American life.
Black writer Ellis Cose, in Newsweek ("Black Versus Brown," July 3-10, 2006), describes the two stages of rapid ethnic transformation of Lynwood, California. In the 1970s, blacks were the outsiders who migrated in large numbers into what was a "small, largely white, bedroom community" of Los Angeles. By 1984, they were so populous that the town elected its first black city council member. Two years later, another black was elected to the council, and soon after the council appointed the first black mayor. Ellis writes, "Blacks quickly came to dominate the political power structure."
In the meantime, Latinos were moving into Lynwood and their numbers began to grow larger. In the late 1980s, the first Latino was elected to the five-member city council and by 1997 they gained full control of the council. Today, Latinos are 82 percent of Lynwood's population [note: The Lynwood City Council now finds it advisable to make its agenda available in Spanish].
Cose writes that after the first Latino mayor, Aramdo Rea, was appointed, "the city fired several blacks and dismissed some black contractors." Rev. Alfreddie Johnson is quoted, "They got rid of 15 people at one time," 13 of whom were blacks. A Latina opponent of Rea claims that during the public promotion of Rea for mayor, Rea's supporters knocked on doors, "saying we needed to get rid of black city council members."
Cose wonders if the Lynwood example "foreshadows" America's future. Will the future be one that "will increasingly see blacks and Latinos fighting?''
The answer, of course, is Yes, and not only in California, but all across the country. After all, why should Latinos -- many of whom have proven themselves to be vigorously entrepreneurial, economically ambitious, ready-to-work-from-sunup-to-sundown, and socially savvy -- yield to political domination by a group for whom much of what they possess is perceived to have been granted as gifts from coerced, blackmailed whites?
In California, Latinos are now the dominant racial group, even in former black venues like Compton and Watts, where interethnic fighting is common in the schools and in public housing projects. Conflicts are not limited to the adolescent crowd, however, as we saw in the late 1990s, when a battle between blacks and Latinos for dominance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Medical Center in Los Angeles, broke into full throttle.
When the medical facility was opened by the county in 1972, South Central Los Angeles was predominantly black. In those early years through the 1980s, the King Center provided a plethora of jobs for blacks -- from professional medical personnel and administrative positions, down to maintenance jobs.
By 1998, not only were most of the hospital's clientele, i.e., patients and visitors, Latino, most conversations were conducted in Spanish. It was not long before the new residents of South Central began to push for the hiring of Spanish-speaking doctors, nurses and other staff. Washington Post reporter Michael Fletcher, writing about the discord in 1998, called the struggle a "pitched racial battle" ["In L.A. a Sense of Future Conflicts," April 7, 1998]. Not only did Latinos file lawsuits against the hospital for rank discrimination, but a doctor from India also sued for the same reason. The fight was on for county jobs.
After a federal agency stepped in and ordered increased recruitment of Latinos and other non-blacks, Fletcher writes that some black officials were "fuming." He quotes the president of the Los Angeles County Black Employees Association saying, "We don't think Latino progress should come out of our hides."
In Compton, as of last year, in spite of the large population of Latinos, the city government was still exclusively black, and four out of five city jobs were held by blacks. In such places, racial tensions are sure to be exacerbated as Hispanics challenge the status quo in their drive to get their share of influential bureaucratic positions.
In August, this year, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa made it clear that he intends to assume greater authority over the city's school district -- a move opposed by black Assemblyman Mervyn Dymally.
Needless to say, many blacks resent the fact that the great influx of foreigners began around the time that laws were being enacted declaring special affirmative action goodies to be reserved to the descendants of America's African slaves. In his book, Black Americans and Organized Labor: a New History, Paul Moreno describes the circumstances leading up to the 1965 Immigration Reform Act, which put an end to earlier restrictions on immigration. With the passage of this law, not only did 35 million immigrants enter the country, 26 million of them were eligible for these special preferences initially set aside for blacks.
In an unexpected consequence of legalized, reverse discrimination, employers were able to meet the now-mandated racial quotas with immigrants from foreign lands. Further, about the impact of immigration in general, Moreno writes, "Though economists differ on the economic effects of immigration on native labor, it is fairly clear that it depressed low-wage native employment and income levels."
Yet, even in the face of stark reality, black leadership organizations did not support restrictions on immigration. In fact, by the end of the 1990s, they opposed restrictions outright. The pattern among black elites -- politicians, academics, community leaders -- consistently has been to make alliances with other elites, in order to insure support for their ever-expanding demands on Establishment whites. These blacks continued to nurse the notion that any alliances with other "minorities" would give them greater power in the race intimidation game being played out against the white adversary.
The pandering of such blacks is limitless, since they are forever on the lookout for ways to expand their influence. In 1999, for instance, the NAACP announced a major campaign to recruit Hispanics into the organization. Billed as a "nationwide initiative," Las Vegas Chapter President Gene Collins explained the mission as a "fight for the disadvantaged regardless of ethnicity." When asked to explain why the NAACP would turn its attention to another racial group, Collins pompously proclaimed, "We have to save the world in order to save ourselves."
Why Hispanics should seek help from a black civil rights organization was not made clear. Well, it's seven years later, and the campaign does not seem to have picked up any steam.
The editor of the black-owned Huntsville Chronicle in Alabama writes:
The idea of a black-Latino coalition has never been close to reality; language, culture, and geographical differences are stand-out reasons for non-coalitions. . . . Jesse Jackson and others have embraced immigration, thinking that new immigrants could be used to build political power. It has not happened yet and there is nothing to indicate that there are any coalitions in the immediate future.
Or in the far distant future.
In the realm of pandering black elites, there is no more notorious public figure than Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, who represents the 18th District in Texas, and is the ranking member of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security, Claims. Jackson Lee, who, for good reason, in 1998, was named the "biggest windbag in Congress" by the Washingtonian magazine, never tires of repeating that worn-out cliche about America being a "nation of immigrants." Hence, we should relax and play our proper role as host to the teeming masses of the planet.
She characterizes herself as a courageous crusader who stands against "hatred and bashing" of immigrants, which she defines as almost any criticism of the current mass influx. According to Jackson Lee, those blacks who forcefully oppose mass immigration are simply naive and are being "baited" into taking such negative positions.
She regularly attends and speaks at Hispanic-Latino events and this year, in August, at a meeting of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA), an affiliate of the AFL-CIO, she boasted of having partnered with this group "on a number of occasions to combat legislation that poses a threat to the communities we serve."
She lives for the platitude, and the more shamelessly sentimental, the better. At this meeting, she played the music her audience wanted to hear: "Those undocumented immigrants [as she calls illegals] harvest our crops, tend our gardens, care for our children and parents." These same illegals should not be offered an "armed escort back to the place of economic and political hopelessness they fled." She then waxed eloquent, as she revved up her preacher mode, telling her Hispanic flock to be of good cheer "for the Scriptures tell us that "weeping may last for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."
Can this woman pander, or what?
She can even pull a soliloquy out of her bag of tricks, as she intones:
Somewhere down south, more precisely down southwest across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Laredo, Corpus Christi, or Brownsville. . . . Or maybe just south of Tucson or San Diego or Douglas, Arizona -- there is a family in Old Mexico anxiously about to embark on their own journey to the New World of America.
Not if we can get those fences up fast enough.
According to Jackson Lee, everything good is owed to those who "risk death in the desert" or "risk capture and crime." Such people should not have to hide themselves from U.S. law, as they "work in sunlight but live in twilight, between the shadows . . ."
On the one hand, she tries to associate herself with those who take a tough stance on border patrol enforcement, while, on the other hand, she claims that "our border security needs more than just fences and deportations." When informed that fences and deportation might be a good place to begin, she changes the subject.
Jackson Lee has consistently voted for amnesty bills, among them a bill she co-sponsored with Rep. Richard Gephardt in 2002, which would have created amnesty for about 6.5 million illegal aliens. This bill also would have ended the annual cap on family-based immigration and increased "chain" migration by about 250,000 a year.
This is the kind of representation that American blacks can expect from a Congressional Black Caucus, whose members live in fear of their districts' changing demographics. In California, when mass migration from south of the border induced employers to cut hourly wages in half, native-born black and Hispanic Americans lost their jobs as janitors and porters. When some of them tried to tell their stories at a Washington, D.C. meeting, they were scolded and derided for their "intolerance."
At a hearing on immigration, in 1999, Sheila Jackson Lee could hardly wait to drop the "racist" tag on whoever challenged her rosy assessment of the manifold blessings that accrue to the U.S. from the "hard working" migrants, who come uninvited to our land. At that Judiciary Committee's oversight hearing, former auto mechanic turned talk show host, Terry Anderson, a black man, described the impact of years of mass immigration in his region. A 45-year resident of South Central Los Angeles, Anderson has had a first row seat watching illegal aliens transform his neighborhood. He told the Committee about the jobs at McDonald's that are no longer available if you don't speak Spanish, of the bilingual classrooms where English-speaking children must listen to endless translations into Spanish, and of one-family homes that now house five families, whose costs have almost doubled.
He spoke of all those jobs that "Americans won't do," that were being done as recently as 15 years prior by Americans who worked as roofers, framers, drywallers, body and fender repairmen and truck drivers.
Prior to the mass deluge, native-born minority citizens dominated these occupations and were able to sustain their families on their salaries. Anderson was pleading for enforcement of laws against illegal immigration.
Jackson Lee was determined to put on the defensive both Anderson and the others who had come with him to testify at the hearing. Reminding them of the many "of us" who "came to this nation in an immigrant form," she referred to slaves brought here against their will as "illegal immigrants." And then, like so many pretentious black professionals of her class, she implied to these working class people that they should not even be employed in the kind of drudgery they spoke about.
You see, physical labor should be considered beneath blacks, "who have been here now for 400-plus years." Blacks, according to her, "deserve a little bit more uplift." Not that the good lady, sitting there in her designer suit, wished to "downgrade," as she put it, such workers. She just wanted to stress how much blacks (just because they're blacks, apparently) deserve more than low-end jobs.
To the likes of Jackson Lee, the advocates and supporters of those "undocumented" hewers of wood, like the members of the LCLAA, are just another constituency to be courted and won. So what if these foreign cooks, cleaners and cutters of grass take away livelihoods from the American citizens now being displaced? You can almost hear her brain at work: "One population is the same as another, if I can only stay in power."
For Jackson Lee, and the rest of the members of the Congressional Black Caucus, it's all about establishing and maintaining a voting bloc. Yet, as they frantically work to win and keep the confidence of the burgeoning Hispanic populations in their respective districts, they might take note of those events in Lynwood, and consider the futility of their efforts.
These politicians have genuine reasons to be troubled, because once Spanish-speaking people dominate in their regions, it will be curtains for them as far as a voting base is concerned. Soon it will be of no avail that Reps. Maxine Waters and John Conyers have either co-sponsored or supported amnesty bills.
In 1995, the Roper Organization reported that 72 percent of black Americans thought immigration should be cut to less than a third of its present level. You would never know this from the activities of black elites, however. They view such reports on black predilections as a troublesome nuisance, the product of ignorant minds whose opinions the wise leaders must work to reverse. Today, polls show that the majority of blacks are against the amnesty and guest worker proposals, now in Congressional limbo -- policies supported by the wiser elites.
Ted Hayes, a black Californian, who has organized the Crispus Attucks Brigade, and has affiliated this group with the border-watching Minutemen claims that black politicians who support immigrant "rights" are "leading blacks in a circle." Hayes believes that this issue will be their "undoing."
It might also be their undoing for reasons not yet explicitly formulated. For, if this tidal wave of industrious Chinese, Koreans, Indians, Arabs, and Vietnamese does not abate, and members of these groups acquire national power and influence, there will be little patience demonstrated for those groups known for not carrying their share of the economic load.
Who will there be to patiently indulge the heavily consumer-oriented, non-producing blacks, for example? Already feeling the impact of immigrant groups that are imbued with a fervent work ethic, through lowered wages and ethnic employment networks that shut them out from jobs, blacks will discover there is worse to come.
When the white population falls below the 50 percent mark, the days of whites running interference for blacks will be over. And so will those special laws biased towards safeguarding perquisites for the "Disadvantaged," which can be mighty expensive to enforce.
Again, what are the odds that those 18th century injunctions devised by those funny little men in britches and waistcoats will prevail, once the polyglot new Americans from Asia and Central and South America begin to flex their political muscle?
So many blacks and their white liberal gurus failed to appreciate those Anglo-originated laws based on "self-evident truths" and the consent of the governed, which were flexible enough to take under their protection the nation's former slaves. Who will there be to insure that jobs and scholarships and government contracts, and the surfeit of other entitlements, will be available for a people who have grown used to looking to others for slices from the economic pie, instead of baking their own share of it?
Once what's left of constitutional law is gone, partly out of neglect, because the story of the Constitution and its creators will no longer be taught in the various Chinese-Indian-Latino-Arab-colored school systems, a new corner will be turned. If blacks think they've been mistreated at the hands of whites, just wait until the affirmative action set aside party is over -- when there is no one to insist that they get undeserved perks, or have a "right" to intrude themselves into places where they are not wanted.
The new dominant ethnics come to this land with their own sob stories of oppression. Unlike whites, they are hardly likely to fall over one another to apologize for past wrongs. Nor are they likely to spend their time in Congress concocting new laws designed to discriminate against their own sons and daughters in favor of blacks.
"Reparations," did you say? Just wait until the first move is made to un-name and re-name some of those Martin Luther King, Jr. boulevards.
So, the blogger Byron Crawford is onto something. Let me paraphrase his speculations cited at the top of this article:
If the U.S. becomes something along the lines of Mexico or Guatemala or China or Senegal or Pakistan, we all stand to lose something.
And once that something is lost, there will be no white folks to harangue, from whom to demand restitution for yet another assortment of imaginary grievances. *
"The world's becoming a museum of socialist failures." --John Dos Passos