I was an “Honors Program” Freshman undergraduate at the College of Arts & Sciences at Tulane University in New Orleans in 1975-76. That meant that in my second semester of Freshman year, I got to take one senior and two graduate level classes. The two graduate level classes were “Crisis in Culture as Reflected in Modern Literature”, taught by the Mellon Professor of the Humanities, Cleanth Brooks, (1906-1994). The other course was “Ethnic Relations, Conquest, and Colonialism” by Dr. Victoria Reifler Bricker (1940- ), then a young associate professor of Anthropology with a Harvard Ph.D. who wore rather (even for the mid 1970s) scandalous mini-skirts every day to class (a detail no straight male college Freshman could ignore or forget).
Bricker and Brooks were in some ways as different as people could be. But in other ways they complemented each other: they both articulated and affirmed the important relationship between race and culture in history. Cleanth Brooks was one of the great Southern Literary Critics of all times (a founder of “New Criticism”, author of “the Well-Wrought Urn”, and an ally of the Southern Agrarians, John Crowe Ransom, Andrew Lytle, and Donald Davidson, Vanderbilt “Fugitives” Allan Tate, Robert Penn Warren, and their later associates Walker Percy). Bricker was, I believe, actually born in China or to Chinese missionaries of some sort.
I just about have to disown my friendship with Bob Hurt. Even before today I had written to him, in King Harry’s words to Jack Falstaff, “I know thee not old man, fall to thy prayers; How ill white hairs become a fool and jester!”
Twice in the past day, Bob has published two articles on “Lawmen”, Numbers 5472 and 5476, 10-11 August 2013, ” with the phrase “Negro Thuggery“ in the title. I disown this sort of writing. It is not only not mine, it is nothing I want to be associated with. Bob Hurt has been a friend, faithful and true to me (sometimes) but I cannot tolerate his hypocritical, ignorant, mish-mash of quasi-Neo-Nazi racist and pro-Constitutionalist ravings. Bob wrote recently that the post-War of Secession “Reconstructed” period of 1865-1914 was the best period of American history. Really Bob? You’re a southerner and you think this? REALLY? You believe that the era of the Robber Barons when our grand-daddies could press down upon labor a crown of thorns and crucify mankind upon a cross of gold were the BEST years in American History? The old man in Clearwater has clearly lost at least a few of his marbles…..
Writing about “Negro Thuggery” amounts to throwing out fighting words in Obama’s America and are about as likely as Al Sharpton’s speeches or Charles Manson’s rantings from prison to produce any positive effect. Neither Jared Taylor nor anyone writing for American Renaissance write or speak this way, even as they aspire to awaken a sense of “racial realism” in America—whether they have achieved anything or not being a totally separate issue.
First off, such phrases as “Negro Thuggery” amount to rude, crude, and uncivilized writing. I do not endorse censorship or doctrines of “political correctness” by any stretch of the imagination, but I do not think that using these kinds of labels in public makes it any easier to engage in rational dialogue about either race or crime in America in August 2013. And I do agree we need rational dialogue about crime and race in America. But, whether Bob Hurt or I like it or not, we have a half-white (“Mulatto”) President whose father was an anti-White, anti-British, pro-Communist terrorist in Kenya, either a member or an ally of the feared and despised “Mau Mau”, and whose mother was, like me, an anthropologist, but unlike me was also a weak-minded communist who used her relationships with men, apparently, to promote her revolutionary anti-white agenda (at least if the movie “Obama 2016″ is to be believed).
Obama’s 50% mix of white and “Negro Blood” is probably about the same as Trayvon Martin, a fact on which the President, to his own MASSIVE discredit, has been trying to capitalize on politically. The President has a more debased and corrupted sense of justice and constitutional authority that I would ever have dreamt possible in any holder of high office in this country.
Second, Bob Hurt is just being a terrible hypocrite here. I have known Bob personally and he has black friends and black relatives (in-laws mostly, I believe) who would probably be deeply offended by his use of such epithets. Bob Hurt is utterly unqualified to be a racist on personal grounds, and he lacks the academic background in either law or anthropology or biology to realize how wrong he is about eugenics and his advocacy of forced sterilization and controlled reproduction as solutions for any of the problems he describes. Jared Taylor and some of the writers at American Renaissance seem to be tiptoeing on the edge of endorsing eugenics or forced sterilization. I would never endorse or tolerate any such governmental interference with individual human life or liberty. I could not possibly do so—I have seen too much of the stupidity of government, and too much injustice and error in the courts.
As I have learned, observed, and seen first hand from personal experience, ordinary civil and criminal process in the courts simply result in MUCH too much inequity, injustice, and downright horrible outcomes to permit the Courts to go any farther than they already do interfering in people’s lives. We need to cut WAY back on government, perhaps abolishing the current government all together and starting over. But we should never think of empowering it be allowing anyone in government to try to play God and supervise or guide the course of human biological evolution. They have made enough of a hash out of their social engineering attempts, most if not all of which I totally oppose and despise.
I have previously criticized and tried to distance myself from Bob Hurt’s bigoted and downright reprehensible advocacy of 1920s-30s style forced sterilization as a solution to what he calls the “Negro Crime Wave”—I have sat outside jails with Bob in Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties waiting for one of his dark-skinned nieces to be released from custody for her criminal cavortings with people of even darker skin. Should not this close proximity to the people he condemns make Bob more sympathetic rather than critical and sanctimonious?
There are many causes of high crime rates among African-Americans—but the basic cause was the abolition of chattel (property-based) slavery and its replacement with the 13th Amendment which only permitted slavery “as a punishment for a crime.” Americans have to own up to themselves as a nation of Bob Hurts who want slavery badly—they just want to pretend that it is just. The high (one could say “mass” incarceration rates of black males results directly and consequentially from the successive abolition of slavery and segregation.
I do not accept or believe for a moment that black people are more criminally inclined than whites. In not so ancient U.S. and U.K. history, it used to be accepted and common knowledge that the Irish, Italians, and Jews were chronically criminal and deviant, but nobody seems to remember or believe that anymore, and even people like Bob Hurt (including Bob Hurt himself) acknowledge that Jews have superior “group average” scores on IQ tests than non-Jewish whites, for whatever that is worth, at the same time as he says that blacks should be sterilized on account of their low IQs and criminal tendencies.
There are direct correlations between IQ and socio-economic status, within ethnically homogeneous groups (such as the Nazi High Command, as tested at their trials at Nuremberg, for example, running from 143 (the financial and banking genius Hjalmar Schacht), and 142 (the equally brilliant Austrian lawyer and jurist Arthur Seyss-Inquart) to poor old Julius Streicher at 106—the most like Bob Hurt of the lot, a vulgar anti-Semite who run a couple of news rags for the NSDAP and never knew when to shut up.
To the degree that there are inter-ethnic group differences in IQ, I still believe that this is cultural, because after many years of considering the question I consider it inconceivable that there is such a thing as “untutored innate human intelligence”, i.e. any intelligence which is NOT created by parents primarily and/or educators in their children. I have recently discussed this question at length with a New Orleans psychologist (Dr. Robin Chapman), and the reason that IQ tests correlate well with success in school is that IQ scores test school-taught subjects. Manual dexterity, the earliest use of the human brain which distinguishes us from animals by our envisioning and creation of tools as “extrasomatic adaptations to the environment”, is certainly not a matter of IQ, for example. So the key survival techniques to exist in the “uncivilized” human societies of palaeotechnic prehistory (i.e. Stone Age chipping stone tools, making good fires, fletching straight and sharp arrows, and later forging and using swords and spears of iron and fitting out good Phoenician or Roman ships and Viking longboats, for example) are completely outside the realm of Intelligence Quotient testing.
African cultures up through and until the 19th century dawn of Colonialism had achieved just as high levels of proficiency in iron age technology as had their European Counterparts up to and including the early phases of pre-Roman society in Italy or “mainland” Germanic or Viking society (although the native Africans did engage in some fairly extensive coastal and riverine trade by boat in precolonial times, especially in East Africa on the Indian Ocean side, influenced by Arab sea-farers).
Literate Civilization never independently evolved in Sub-Saharan Africa, and in pre-Colonial times never even extended further south than Ethiopia by diffusion. This lone fact, probably more than any other single historical reason, explains why blacks do not score so well on IQ tests—literate schooling in the Western tradition neither formed part of their cultural nor evolutionary heritage—but that doesn’t make them criminals or stupid, it makes them DIFFERENT.
And it is the study of the function and meaning of human differences which concern us today in America.
I have a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Harvard University, and the title-subject of my doctoral dissertation was “Ethnicity and Social Organization”. I was and remain interested in the question of the reality of ethnic differences and the dynamics of interaction between groups. “Ethnicity”, across the world, operates largely a mythological construct and ethnic conflict operates as a metaphoric system whose sole purpose, in a virtually monolithically homogeneous society, to maintain social hierarchy. “Ethnicity” in Europe denominates cultural differences based on linguistic-nationality, as between French and German, German and Czech or Polish, English and Irish, Italian, Spanish, Yugoslav and Greek. Looking at the maps of Europe, the Near East, and Latin America today, I think this operational, functional approach to ethnicity as mythology still works. In short, “ethnicity” and “class” match each other more closely than “ethnicity” and “population biology” in terms of human genetics.
In the United States, we have something called “Race” which both sounds simultaneously deeper in terms of genetics than “ethnicity” and harder to miss on the surface, because “race” implies skin colour. World culture has evolved into a fundamentally global phenomenon. Based on what people wear and use, in terms of material culture (a subject on which I focused in my doctoral dissertation, which focused on artistic and historical portrayals of different groups—whether ethnic or not), it is hard to distinguish the “races” of North America.
In North America, our 21st century usage of the term “race” implies fairly strong dividing lines between (1) how people identify themselves, (2) how other people identify them, (3) patterns of behavior, (4) social and cultural values, (5) residence.
In the aftermath of Time Magazine’s cover Story “After Trayvon” (nearly a special issue devoted to the subject of George Zimmerman’s Acquittal, dated July 29, 2013) showing his ghostly “hoodie”, I think it is critical to address the subject of race, which is everywhere in the news and commentary on America.
Most of what I see is unadulterated hogwash from ALL sides of the debate. I will start off with the very simple stuff which will permit you to classify me as your ally or enemy, depending on how you feel. In addition to my Ph.D. from Harvard, which I do not use professionally except to think, I have a J.D. from the University of Chicago, which I also do not use professionally except to think.
My legal, academic, and personal background lead me to the inescapable conclusion that George Zimmerman’s acquittal was completely proper, George Zimmerman acted in self-defense, and Trayvon Martin was a punk kid, neither the best nor the worst of his kind, who may not have deserved to die for anything he did but really has no complaint (under the circumstances) about being shot when he pinned down a guy on a sidewalk with something less than humanitarian intent or expressions of Christ-like sympathy for his victim….. In my opinion, George Zimmerman also, was neither the best nor the worst of his kind, something slightly better than a punk kid, possibly a failed cop and aspiring neighborhood bully who never quite made it. The battle between Zimmerman and Trayvon was hardly worthy of inclusion in any heroic series about Achilles, Hercules, or Odysseus, but one COULD get confused on that point, reading the news both in print and on-line these days.
But George Zimmerman committed no mortal sin in shooting Trayvon, and the fact that this is all not just news but DIALOGUE on an EPIC PROPORTION in America is symptomatic of a very sick, disturbed society.
Up one minor notch on an increasing scale of complexity, from the discussion of Zimmerman’s acquittal is the question of whether there is too much violence in modern society. The acquittal was exactly as simple as the jury made it: self-defense, justified under the circumstances including but not limited the fact that he was attacked and had no duty to retreat under the laws of the State of Florida—NO HUMAN BEING SHOULD EVER HAVE A DUTY TO RETREAT WHEN ATTACKED, in my opinion). So now, must we discourage violence? I think the answer is NO, we must train people how to prepare for and engage in duels to resolve their disputes—observed by, but not carried out by, society as a whole.
As a lifelong student of Anthropology, Biology, Classics, Economics, Geography, and History, I know that violence is an essential aspect of the condition known as “animal life”, generally, but especially “human life” in particular. As a strictly theoretical matter, but also in practice, I strongly favor personal violence over group violence. From a biological standpoint, personal (individual-on-individual violence is so much easier to understand and situationally justify).
Imagine trying, if you will, what it would take to convince a group of Male and Female Lions, for example, that the Death Penalty makes sense: Scar killed Mufassa, so to retake his father’s kingdom, Mufassa’s son Simba kills Scar. Lions could probably understand that story. But what if Simba had died in the stampede or the jungle? Should Rafiki the Baboon Priest somehow have assembled Sarabi (Mufassa’s widow), Nala, and enough other female lions and possibly other “food” animals to arrest, pass judgment on and execute Scar for Mufassa’s murder? (Priestly and judicial roles are closely related, from an evolutionary standpoint—even today, Priests and Judges are united in wearing anachronistic black robes in public for ritual purposes).
I will come back to the “Lion King” plot-line later, but from the standpoint of non-human animals who NEVER operated that way, the human “justice” system looks pretty ridiculous and frankly, unnatural and counterproductive. After substantial experience in the law from the perspectives of both judicial chambers and litigants, I question how much sense it makes for humans to operate that way: personal knowledge and experience are a much more reliable index of who deserves to live or die. No less an authority than my grandmother taught me this, although she phrased it in terms of kinship, “If close relatives don’t know who deserves to live or die, nobody else does either.”
Personal justice is better than, morally superior by far to collective social justice in my opinion, and accordingly, personal violence should be encouraged. This is true because, if lawful, the credible threat of immediate retribution will actually make for a more peaceful, cooperative society. That was why murder led to feuds among the Vikings and Scots and their descendants in the Blue Ridge Mountains and Appalachia generally: death by intentional violence was so rare that everybody knew who was responsible and why it happened when it did.
But does Trayvon’s Ectoplasmic Hoodie Really Rate a Full Cover Treatment on Time Magazine? Does Trayvon Martin really belong among the ἀθανάτοι θεοὶ? (the “deathless Gods” as described in Homeric idiom)? At least seven contributors to the July 29, 2013 issue seem to think so. I do not intend to join them.
As a matter of fact, I think that what our so-called President and his propagandists (and I suppose I have to include Time Magazine in this list) have done to try to promote race conflict and racial tension. It makes me ill.