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From Telos 105, Fall 1995, 173-192.  Review-essay on Stephen Steinberg, Turning Back: The Retreat from Racial Justice in American Thought and Policy (Boston: Beacon Press, 1995); Todd Gitlin, The Twilight of Common Dreams: Why America is Wracked by Culture Wars (New York: Metropolitan Books, Henry Holt and Company, 1995); and Dinesh D’Souza, The End of Racism: Principles for a Multiracial Society (New York: The Free Press, 1995).


Race and Social Science

Hugh Murray

In 1955 I took part in Pelican Boys’ State, an annual gathering of high school students aimed at promoting understanding of government sponsored by the American Legion.  McCarthyism was still rife and indeed growing in the South following the Supreme Court’s 1954 decision on school desegregation.  In our simulated state government, I was elected to the Pelican Boys’ State Senate, and for our final meeting, to be conducted in the Louisiana State Senate Chamber in Baton Rouge, we were asked to debate before the public and press some legislation we might propose. I introduced a measure: that Louisiana desegregate its public schools.  The American Legionnaires, not members of the most liberal organization at that time, informally urged that we should instead debate a measure to require ROTC in all high schools.  However, despite opposition, the Senate voted to debate my proposal.  A few days later, during that featured public session in the Senate Chamber of a Southern state in 1955, we did debate desegregation.  Surprisingly, there was so much support for my measure that the Legionnaires closed the Senate session before we had an opportunity to vote.

At that time I used one of the arguments on behalf of integration I had read about in a small booklet issued by the Southern Conference Education Fund (often deemed by its opponents to be a Communist front).  The point was simply that whites had nothing to fear from school integration; after all, look at how well it was working in Washington, DC.  By 1993, even President Bill Clinton (another veteran of Boys’ State as well as Boys’ Nation), who had been elected with considerable support from the National Education Association and most civil rights groups, chose not to send his daughter to Washington’s public schools.  Had integration worked in DC?  Or had segregationist warnings been vindicated?

Eight years after my bout in Baton Rouge, I was teaching 5th grade (children 10 to 14 years old) in a large private school in New Orleans.  Like almost all schools in the city at the time, it was segregated.  During midday, another 5th grade teacher called me to her room where she was supervising a lunch-break: with her pupils.  One boy had brought a transistor radio and she urged me to listen.  We cocked our heads to hear above the electrical interference and the din of the rest of the class at play.  Shaken by what I heard, I returned to my class and announced: “The radio has just reported that President Kennedy has been shot in Dallas.”  The kids immediately cheered and applauded.  I was doubly stunned.  True, one girl cried, but she was the lone exception.  In white schools throughout the South the news of Kennedy’s shooting was greeted with similar rejoicing.  It was only hours later, when the alleged culprit was exposed as a leftist, that white Southerners began to display remorse—“Isn’t it awful what that communist did?”  The earlier cheering disappeared from the media as did reports of bullets hitting Kennedy from the front.  In 1963, the cleavage between the white South and the North was enormous.

In the early 1980s, working for the State of New York, I was returning from lunch when my supervisor passed me in the hall.  She was an American citizen, a black woman born in Jamaica.  She said to me, “Go see what they did to your president.”  Immediately, I wondered what might have happened to the CEO of the board of our government agency.  In the office colleagues had gathered round a small television, one frequently brought in by the clerks who enjoyed watching soaps while they filed.  That day, it was not tuned to “All My Children,” but to the news.  Someone had just shot President Reagan.  The blacks in the office were jovial; some began to dance.  Their glee was evident, for it was possible that Reagan would not survive the attack.  Perhaps, I had arrived too late to observe cheers and applause.  Some of us whites, the minority at the state agency, stood in the background, stunned by the reaction of our black co-workers.  The chasm between black and white was clear to some of us in March 1981.  By 1995, it was clear to all.


The New Era

The Million Man March opens a new era in American race relations—the era of Farrakhan.  The era of abolitionist militancy, the Civil War, and Radical Reconstruction were associated mostly with Frederick Douglass, but that era closed with the beginning of this century.  The change was evident when Booker T. Washington delivered his famous oration at the 1895 Atlanta Exhibition in which he contended that the races could remain separate on social issues.  The following year the US Supreme Court endorsed legal segregation in its Plessy v. Ferguson decision.  Then in 1900 free elections were thwarted by violence resulting in the defeat of Republican Rep. George H. White of North Carolina, the last black to serve in Congress for a quarter of a century.  Douglass’ death, Booker T. Washington’s influential machine, the court’s acceptance of enforced segregation, the purging of blacks from voting rolls, all revealed that Radical Reconstruction was dead.  Booker T. Washington dominated the next two decades of accommodationist race relations in the US, but his era closed with his death and the changed conditions and migrations of WWI.  Then, to the syncopations of jazz, “the New Negro” flourished in Harlem and other cities in the 1920s.  Meanwhile, W. E. B. Du Bois and the NAACP, the Urban League, and other civil rights organizations vied for support against Marcus Garvey and his black nationalists in the Universal Negro Improvement Association.

By the 1930s, the New Negro was old hat and unemployed, much more so than the rest of the nation suffering through the Great Depression.  But New Deal government spending, some trade unions, communist and radical organizations provided new outlets for hope, employment and protest.  Following WWII, an emergent civil rights movement was nipped in the bud and persecuted during Truman-McCarthyism (far more by the former than by the latter).  The Southern Negro Youth Congress, the Southern Conference on Human Welfare, the Civil Rights Congress, the Council on African Affairs and the Young Progressive Association were destroyed and Du Bois and Paul Robeson were marginalized.  Truman even had the elderly Du Bois arrested as a foreign agent.  Consequently, that early post-WWII wave of civil rights protest was smashed by Truman’s liberals.

In the mid-1950s the Civil Rights Era began under the leadership of a black preacher in support of a black seamstress involved in a bus protest in Montgomery, Alabama.  It was hard to label a black Christian minister a Communist, though a white, Jewish, and former (and perhaps lingering, secret) Communist would be one of Martin Luther King Jr.’s major advisors.  The bus boycott was won.  At the same time, the Supreme Court unanimously declared “separate but equal” segregation unconstitutional, and schools slowly began to integrate, even with the aid of federal troops.  In 1960, sit-ins spawned renewed protests, and in 1964 the movement targeted the most racist state in the nation, Mississippi.  That summer, Chaney, Schwerner, and Goodman were killed, symbolizing the spirit of sacrifice of the new movement: black and white, Northerners and Southerners, Christians and Jews.  In 1963, the movement sponsored the quarter million civil rights march on Washington at which King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech.  In 1964, the Civil Rights Act passed, followed by the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

But in the mid-1960s, the interracial movement that had successfully achieved legislative change collapsed before the demands of Black Power.  The most militant of the early 1960s organizations, SNCC and CORE, abandoned interracialism and non-violence, causing SNCC even to change the “N” word in its title, from Non-violent to National.  But the new theatrics of SNCC and CORE were upstaged by the ad hoc Black Student Unions, California’s Black Panther Party, and impromptu threats; street theater soon intersected with street violence; rioters set streets and ghettos aflame.

Meanwhile, with the election of Richard Nixon as President in 1968, deception reached Orwellian heights.  While Nixon’s Southern Strategy won many white Southern votes, it also earned him denunciations of “racism” from liberal Democrats.  Meanwhile, Nixon’s policies quietly scrapped the 1964 Civil Rights Act, destroyed equal opportunity policies, and replaced them with the quota policy of affirmative action and preferences still in effect today.  “Disparate impact” theory was used to annul qualifications for jobs, allow drug addicts to terrorize public housing residents, hoodlums to destroy school discipline, and murderers to avoid execution.  The crime rate soared during the administration of a Republican President whose slogan had been ‘‘Law and Order.”  Nixon also extended quota-affirmative action programs to women, Native Americans (as if people born here are not native Americans), Asians, and Hispanics.  With Johnson’s revised law of open immigration, the result was blacks born in Third World countries had preferences over native American whites for jobs, promotions, and admission to universities. 

Though these policies were just the opposite of equal opportunity, as well as of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the civil rights lobby dared not call itself by its new proper name—the quota-, racial-, ethnic- and gender-preference lobby.  They continually spoke of equal opportunity and civil rights, but demanded the end of equal opportunity and the denial of civil rights for white men.  The EEOC pretended that the poorest white male was “privileged,” so preferences had to be granted to the children of Bill Cosby and the daughters of millionaires.  As unpopular as these quota-affirmative action policies were, they continued and expanded under every administration afterwards, culminating with Bush signing the pro-quota 1991 Civil Rights Act.  Before Farrakhan’s march, the oldest and most respected civil rights organization, the NAACP, chose black nationalist Ben Chavis as its leader.  Were it not for a scandal over hush money for alleged sexual harassment, he might still head the NAACP.  The civil rights era ended in 1969 with Nixon’s inauguration.  But the rhetoric, nostalgia, and culture of the civil rights era continued to provide legitimacy and cover for the liberal, tribal, preferential policies that replaced civil rights.

Despite quotas and preferences, the expanded welfare state of the War on Poverty, Head Start, food stamps, apartments for unwed mothers, Medicare, inner-city job fairs, minority set-asides, etc., more black women have children without husbands than ever, and more black men engage in crime than ever.  By 1990, anti-black racism had shriveled, real poverty diminished, yet black crime was much higher than in the Great Depression—when there was real poverty and real anti-black bigotry.  Not only has liberalism failed to solve the problem; liberalism is the problem.  Its philosophy simply encourages more blacks to do the inexcusable.  Thus, since the late 1960s in the US there have been 500,000 murders, and fewer than 400 executions.  Some convicted murderers have been released after serving truncated sentences only to kill again.  And if many blacks turn toward crime (blacks, 13% of the nation’s population, are responsible for half the murders), it may be because they are aware that they will not be punished severely—if at all.  By 1995, one third of all black males 20 to 29 were in prison, on probation or parole.

Consider the ghetto portrayed in Boyz N the Hood, the 1991 film by black director John Singleton about blacks in Los Angeles.  The only problem in that Los Angeles ghetto of single unit homes with driveways, cars, palm trees was the neighbors, many of whom turned to drugs and crime because they could get away with it.  Tell the rest of the world about the “poverty” of those blacks in Los Angeles.  Only a liberal can believe the nonsense that America is overwhelmingly infected with racism.  Only a black nationalist can assert such nonsense with appropriate threatening scowl as to demand its acceptance (or else!).  So the media and academia report and repeat the nonsense that America is a land of racism and too many, black and white, accept it as fact.

Of course, there is racism in America.  Most of this racism, however, is anti-white.  Not only is the only legal, institutionalized racism that of the EEOC, openly anti-white (and anti-male), but anti-white racism infects other institutions.  It is no accident that the National Endowment for the Humanities-sponsored “History Standards for Goals 2000” praise every colored leader mentioned, no matter how barbarous and murderous, while blithely de-emphasizing the contribution of white men.  But the academic elite, like their media and philanthropic cohorts, despise Western civilization.  Thus Yale University, with a $20 million grant, refused to expand its course in Western Civilization.  To the elite, the West is the enemy, to be undermined, while every non-white culture of a dozen people is praised, no matter how illiterate, primitive, or savage.  The West is the target, and America, the strongest nation of the West, has long been the largest target of the Left.

To the extent that Farrakhan is an enemy of the West, the media, academia, and other liberal elites treat him with kid gloves.  Note the media’s coverage of Farrakhan’s march.  Many stressed that Americans should separate the message from the messenger, that the massive march was about black men atoning for past sins and showing determination to take responsibility for their lives and their families in the future.  Some stories praised the polite crowd, which was devoid of drugs, alcohol, and violence.  Media polls contended that most of the marchers were middle-class blacks, and that only 5% stated they were followers of Farrakhan.  Other follow-up, human interest stories of participants stressed the enthusiasm, warm-feelings, and fraternal affections among the “brothers.”  Liberal outlets did permit muted criticism from feminists, who bemoaned the absence of women, but their main complaint was that women should have been full participants in the march.  Disputes about the number of participants made headlines, as the official Park Service count of 400,000 varied from an ABC consulting firms’ guess of 850,000, while march leaders estimated from 1 to 2 and a half million.

Much of this coverage missed the point.  True, days before the march Reuters released an interview with Farrakhan in which he called Jews “bloodsuckers” of the black community.  Farrakhan then added a similar swipe at Korean, Arab, and other store owners in ghetto neighborhoods.  But even when acknowledging Farrakhan’s “irrational” comments, liberals’ annoyance was overwhelmed by their awe when they reckoned the size of the massive march: a minimum of 400,000 participants, at which Maya Angelou, Jesse Jackson and Democratic members of the Black Congressional Caucus were mere warm-up speakers for Farrakhan’s main event.  The message of Rosa Parks and civil rights were mere prelude, mere history, to the present and future, to the man who had mobilized the march.  Another civil rights activist, who had been with the SCLC and ordained in King’s church, Al Samson, formally moved a resolution before the assembled black men—that Minister Farrakhan be acknowledged as the leader of all African Americans.  The crowd roared its approval.  The torch had passed.

By the 1960s the Nation of Islam was the main black nationalist organization in the US.  It so despised whites, it viewed them as devils.  The NOI opposed the civil rights movement and the 1963 civil rights march on Washington.  Malcolm X travelled to Washington that day, not to speak of unity, not to march, but to denounce the “farce on Washington.”  In the early 1960s, and still a member of the NOI, Malcolm travelled to the South, not to partake in civil rights protest but to make secret deals with the Klan.  Furthermore, at a major NOI gathering in the Chicago International Amphitheater in February 1962, Elijah Mohammed had George Lincoln Rockwell, leader of the American Nazi party, address 12,000 of his Black Muslim followers.

The Million Man march is a watershed event.  Hundreds of thousands of black men voted with their feet to endorse Farrakhan as their leader.  There were many flags at the march, almost all black, red, and green.  There were hardly any American flags.  When Libya’s dictator Moammar Gadhafi made an interest-free loan to Farrakhan in 1985 of $5 million, he was making a shrewd investment in anti-Americanism.  In January 1996, Gadhafi promised Farrakhan $1 billion.  According to the Libyan news service, Gadhafi stated that: “Our confrontation with America is like a fight against a fortress from the outside, and today we found a breach to enter into this fortress and confront it.”  The service also reported that Gadhafi “called for creation of a separate black state in the US with its own army manned by black soldiers from the US armed forces.”1 

On Saturday night, October 14, at a meeting at McKinley Tech High School, the Nation of Islam’s Youth Minister, Quanell X, told an enthusiastic crowd: “All the Jews can go straight to hell.”  Earlier he told a reporter:  “The real deal is this . . . I say to Jewish America: Get ready. . . knuckle up, put your boots on, because we’re ready and the war is going down.”  Just before Steve Cokely, a former aide to the mayor of Chicago, was to begin his lecture, “The Jewish Conspiracy,” NOI Minister Khallid Muhammad, attacked President Clinton as a “cracker” for leaving town when “God’s man” was about to arrive.  Khallid added:  “This is the time of the black man’s rise and the white man’s demise.”  He then demanded that the only white in the public school auditorium be ejected, threatening to turn the lights out and “boot your ass out.”  The white was shoved out of the public hall.2  At another rally, on Sunday night, Malik Zulu Shabazz, a law student at Howard University and a leader of Unity Nation, asserted: “I have a hit list, right here in my pocket,” of black, Christian ministers.  Khallid, probably angered that O.J. would not march after having walked, denounced the athlete for leaving his black wife for that white whore Nicole and that other white whore, Nicole’s sister.

On the day of the march, Moshe Maoz and Ronn Torossian, along with other Jews, attempted to protest.  The marchers surrounded the protestors, spat on them, taunted them, and shouted, “Hitler should have finished you off.”  Federal and city government officials responded as expected.  “Instead of protecting us from the hostility of the crowd and guaranteeing our First Amendment right to speak out, Park Police lieutenants ripped signs from our hands and ordered us to leave the area because we were ‘inciting a riot.’”3  The New York Post reported that many of the nearly all-white state militia movements approved of much of what Farrakhan said.  The New York Times ran a report on similarities between today’s NOI policies and those of the KKK and other white supremacist groups.  The Democrats have not only subsidized the NOI through public housing contracts with NOI front groups, they have indulged the racism of the NOI in public schools and now in the capital.


The O.J. Verdict

The O.J. verdict proves again that in today’s liberal America, blacks get away with murder.  In Los Angeles an affirmative-action jury rendered an affirmative-action verdict.  This is no exception.  When David Dinkins was mayor of New York City in 1991, blacks rioted in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, shouting, “Kill the Jews.”  As almost all whites in the area are Jews, anti-Semitism merged with anti-white racism. Rabbinical student Yankel Rosenbaum was knifed.  Before he died, he pointed out Lemerick Nelson, a 16-year-old black, as the one who had stabbed him.  But another affirmative-action jury not only acquitted Nelson, the jurors attended the defendant’s victory celebration.

In 1990 Jewish Defense League founder Meir Kahane was shot at a public gathering in Dinkins’ New York.  Spectators identified the murderer, El Sayyid Nosair, a third-world immigrant.  But the jury found Nosair guilty only of carrying a weapon, not of killing Kahane!  More recently, during the testimony at the trial of the terrorists involved in the World Trade Center bombing, Nosair was identified and convicted as one of the general conspirators.  Yet he has never been convicted for the murder of Kahane.

In Baltimore in 1995 Davon Neverdon, a black, was acquitted by another all-minority, nearly all-black jury, even though four eyewitnesses testified that he had slain a white man while attempting a robbery.  Following the Rodney King verdicts, many blacks in Los Angeles rioted, beating and robbing whites, Hispanics, and Asians.  Reginald Denny, a white male, drove his truck into a black neighborhood.  Black rioters disabled his truck, beat him to the ground, and one young black, Lance Parker, danced while slamming a brick into the head of the downed Denny.  Parker was found not guilty of attempted murder, and was sentenced to three years’ probation.

Attorney Johnnie Cochran did not introduce racism into the O.J. trial, even when he was escorted by guards from the openly racist Nation of Islam.  Nor did Lt. Mark Fuhrman.  Racism was introduced into all the courtrooms of the land by Supreme Court decisions that require double standards in challenging minority (and female) potential jurors.  The Los Angeles DA did not even ask for the death penalty for O.J., though he was accused of brutally killing two people.  The population of Los Angeles is 14% black, but liberal politicians conspired to produce a jury 75% black.  It was a stacked jury, and probably could have voted “not guilty” in the first three hours of trial a year before and saved the taxpayers a bundle.  The question of double standards for blacks to increase their number on juries is as unjust as other forms of affirmative action.  It is institutionalized racism.


Steinberg’s Turning

The dust jacket of Stephen Steinberg’s book is filled with glowing praise from leftist scholars—Roger Wilkins, Frances Fox Piven, Michael Eric Dyson, Howard Zinn, Derrick Bell, Mary Frances Berry—and rightly so, for Steinberg presents the Left’s view of sociology and race relations.  He explains how social scientists have accepted and rejected various “paradigms,” or theoretical models for understanding the race issue in America.  Early in this century, most social scientists explained the gaps between blacks and whites in income, education, status, employment, etc. as due to the assumed genetic inferiority of blacks.  By the 1930s, that paradigm was being increasingly challenged.  Some American social scientists were suddenly embarrassed by the similarity of their views and those of Nazi social scientists who explained the world in terms of the hierarchy of races.  Worse, racial conflicts might occur in America, as evidenced by the 1935 Harlem riots.

Fear of racial clashes and unease with the then dominant paradigm led the Carnegie Foundation to sponsor a new, massive study on race in America.  Led by Gunnar Myrdal, an outsider with links neither to the Dixiecrat Right nor the Abolitionist Left, his aim was to gather facts and let them speak for themselves.  He hired numerous academics, friends and potential foes, to contribute to the project.  The result was An American Dilemma, which established a new paradigm on race with its publication during WWII.  The problem with Myrdal’s work was not the facts but the interpretation.  To Myrdal, white racism and black inferiority (the product of inferior conditions) played upon each other.  To break the cycle, whites and blacks must attempt to know each other.  The American moral dilemma (a democratic creed often vitiated by racism) could thereby become America’s great opportunity.  Education and improved economic conditions would lessen prejudice, so America could live up to its democratic faith and overcome racial prejudice.

It was not new theories that were to overturn Myrdal’s paradigm, but civil rights demonstrations in the 1960s. A new paradigm—confrontation—evolved and has remained dominant since.  It saw Afro-Americans more like a caste than a class, more like an oppressed colonial people than fellow citizens, more like a people with a distinct culture than as Americans with black skins.  Moreover, civil rights laws guaranteeing equal opportunity were inadequate; equal results were demanded.  Preferences for blacks were therefore essential to overcome institutional racism and insure that blacks would have an equal chance on an equal playing field.  Myrdal’s moral dilemma of the oppressor was dismissed as irrelevant individual prejudice.  The key to understand America was “institutional racism,” from which all whites benefited and of which, therefore, all whites were guilty.  Consequently, race preferences, racial set-asides, and other affirmative action programs were the only fair method to compensate for past oppression and the present invisible institutional racism.  If civil rights laws promoted freedom, affirmative action sought equality.

Unlike other social scientists, Steinberg argues that affirmative action has had a major impact on the American labor market, ending the racial apartheid prevalent until the 1960s.  He not only favors its continuation but also its expansion.  Also, Steinberg sees a correlation between the economic advancement of Afro-Americans and restrictions on immigration.  He argues that the 1960s immigration laws, which culminating in massive immigration, both legal and illegal, along with the corporate relocation of many industries to foreign nations, have reduced the potential for black economic advancement.  Steinberg acknowledges that many large corporations support affirmative action, and he gives some credit (though less than is due) to the Nixon Administration for institutionalizing affirmative action.  The problem with Steinberg’s approach is not only the “scholarship of backlash,” but its failure to explain a) the racially antagonistic reactions to the O.J. verdict, and b) the massive Million Man March and the rise of Farrakhan.

To Left sociologists, blacks are an internal colony, oppressed by white (and, more recently, other) Americans.  As Steinberg writes: “If ghettoes constituted a kind of colony, then . . . riots were actually a form of ‘revolt,’. . . . Liberation meant more than securing civil rights.  It also meant taking control of one’s community” (88).  This has been the dominant paradigm for three decades.  It legitimates Farrakhan’s attacks on community “bloodsuckers,” black protestors’ denunciations of “alien” Korean store owners and Harlem picketers claiming that “This block for niggers only, no whites and Jews allowed.”4 Some blacks demand that Jewish, Korean, and Arab businesses “return something to the community,” beyond paying taxes and providing various services. What if a black sought to open a store in a white neighborhood, and a gang of whites threatened him unless he “returned something to the community”? Those gang leaders would be arrested as extortionists, racists and thugs. But when black extortionists, racists, and thugs make the same demands on Jewish, Korean, and other white owners, they are often encouraged by liberal academic theorists.

Roland Smith, who torched Freddy’s in Harlem and killed seven people, like Colin Ferguson, the black who killed whites and Asians on the Long Island Railroad, like the picketers of the Korean stores in Brooklyn, like the mob in Crown Heights, and others, are not valiant colonials expelling (or killing) foreign exploiters from “their” communities.  They are racists who demand pay-offs and preferences for their gang.  Social science has misled America for three decades.  Blacks are not a colony: they are Americans and, like everyone else, they can be racists.


Gitlin’s Twilight

A former president of Students for a Democratic Society in the 1960s, Todd Gitlin has written a perceptive history of that decade.  Unfortunately, his new book is shallow, evasive and contradictory.  Gitlin complains that since the late 1960s, while the Left has seized university English departments, the Republicans have usually occupied the White House.  From 1973 to 1994 real wages have declined by 18.8%, the economic gaps widened between rich and poor, black and white, yet voters elected a Republican Congress in 1994.  According to Gitlin, the cause of the Left’s defeats is identity politics.  He truces this to the 1960s, when the civil rights movement, with its American flags, black and white together and universal dreams, were swept aside by the explosive growth of Black Nationalism and Black Power.  Whites were expelled from SNCC and CORE.Some then formed their own identity groups—the women’s movement, gay liberation, various ethnic groups.  They were joined by Hispanic, Asian American, Native American, and later disabled groups.  Still, all that united the Left was its opposition to the war in Vietnam.  When that war ended, the Left turned out to be merely a collection of special-interest, identity groups, often feuding with each other.

Gitlin’s first chapter describes a bitter dispute in Oakland, California, in the late 1980s over adoption of a new series of multicultural text books.  The main author, radical historian Gary Nash, is a multiculturalist, but that failed to sway nationalists from various ethnic studies departments of nearby San Francisco colleges.  They attended school board meetings to denounce Nash and his work as racist, sexist, homophobic.  They did not care that the books described Mexican soldiers as “brave,” but failed to extend the courtesy to American volunteers equally worthy of the designation.  The opponents did not seek compromise, for they were there to “mau mau” Nash.  They “knew” that Jews had run the slave trade.  Nash and the white radicals were jeered and defeated, as Oakland chose to reject many of the new history texts.  Not until 150 pages later does Gitlin reveal that Nash also chaired the development of the history standards for Goals 2000.  This multicultural hodgepodge was so hostile to American values, so one-sided in its praise of feminists and minorities, that the Senate, liberals and conservatives alike, voted 99-1 to reject those standards. If Nash’s notions were so sympathetic to multiculturalism, why did the multiculturalists of Oakland reject them?

Here is the dilemma for Gitlin, Nash, and the Left.  To the identity movement, people and their works are judged by race, gender, orientation.  To various Black Nationalists, whites are devils; to some feminists, all men are rapists or latent rapists.  Some feminists resent males who enroll in women’s studies classes.  To some black nationalists, whites should not teach blacks, much less develop a curriculum for young blacks.  They judge not by an individual’s character, but by the color of his or her skin.  They rejected Nash’s texts as they had earlier rejected King’s 1963 color-blind appeal.  Though Gitlin pretends to trace the identity movement back to the Enlightenment, he poignantly skips the Nazi era in Germany and dares not expose some of the racist roots of today’s identity movements.   His analysis is vitiated by a contradiction.   While the Left once championed the common man, he has now been replaced by the Chicana, the gay, the disabled, the Native American.  Today the Left considers the common man, like the common language, oppressive.   Gitlin seeks to revive the common spirit, the common dream, the common man and woman.

However, it is often government that denies our commonness: determining our identity; labeling us Black, Hispanic, Pacific Islander, female.  Our chances for college admission, job promotion, business contract, etc., depend more on “who” we are than what we know, how well we work, or how we might fulfill contracts.  When Gitlin reports the enormous growth of Americans who now claim Native American heritage, the reason is clear to all except Gitlin: it is more profitable today to be a Native American than a native American.  If much of America is mired in identity politics, it is precisely because government rewards and punishes according to those identities. 

Gitlin’s contradiction is that he supports government identity politics, affirmative action, set asides, goals and timetables.  He justifies the University of California, Berkeley’s notorious affirmative action programs by asserting that only 500 whites and Asians were denied admission annually because of their race.   Would he have dismissed the issue if 500 blacks and Hispanics had been turned away because of their race?  Gitlin wants it both ways.  He deplores identity politics with its disunity and irrationality, yet demands that the government continue to judge its citizens not by what they know or do or have done, but by their race, sex, or heritage.  He complains that the identity movement demonizes white men.   Then he does the same thing, alleging that the poorest white teen is privileged and deserving of government discrimination to give preference, in principle, even to wealthy women and minorities.  Gitlin seems bewildered that many white men reject the Left and refuse to vote for the Democrats.  The Twilight he writes about is, first and foremost, that of today’s Left.


D’Souza’s End

On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, 1996, PBS Television’s “American Experience” telecast a two-hour documentary on civil rights activities in Mississippi in the 1960s, “Freedom on My Mind.”  It included old footage of a White Citizens’ Council rally at which a segregationist denounced the proposed Civil Rights Act by declaring:  “It’ll give n-----s privileges white people don’t have.”  Of course, respectable opinion at that time regarded as absurd the segregationists’ fears that the pending civil rights legislation would favor blacks over whites.  To expose such frivolous accusations Senator Hubert Humphrey, a sponsor of the 1964 bill, spoke in the Senate:  “there is nothing in it [the bill] that will give any power to the Commission [EEOC] or to any court to require hiring, firing, or promotion of employees in order to meet a racial ‘quota’ or to achieve racial balance. . . In fact, the very opposite is true . . . Title VII is designed to encourage hiring on the basis of ability and qualifications, not race and religion.”6  

Dinesh D’Souza claims it was inevitable that the Civil Rights Act would provide preferences for blacks and discriminate against whites in order to establish proportional representation in the work place, university, and society (205-7).  His argument is clear: those in the civil rights movement assumed that with the removal of overt discrimination and the enforcement of color-blind policies blacks would be able to compete and acquire a proportional share of jobs, promotions, university admissions, etc.  However, passage of the 1964 act and the end of discrimination made it painfully obvious in the South, as had already been observed in the North, that blacks as a group were not competing successfully with whites in intellectual pursuits.  Equal opportunity for individuals was not producing equal results by groups.  So pressure mounted on various fronts.  Capitulating to these pressures when he became President, Nixon changed the equation.  The 1964 act was turned on its head.  Henceforth, in hiring, promotion, university admissions, business contracts, equal results by groups were required or firms would lose government contracts and/or face heavy fines.  To achieve such results, white men were routinely denied equal opportunity.  Scanning the racial and gender proportions of employees, the EEOC judged corporations guilty of discrimination unless they could prove themselves innocent—a process that, even if the firm won in court, proved so costly that private firms, either on their own or in out-of-court settlements, resorted to quotas, goals, and “timetables, i.e., to preferences for women and minorities—all at the expense of better qualified white men.

Was this really inevitable?  Was this the logical outcome of the civil rights movement and the 1964 Civil Rights Act?  That law was written to prevent intentional discrimination based on race, religion, or sex.  As written, the law explicitly rejects disproportional numbers as proof.  There has to be intent to discriminate, and that intent has to be proven.  Unfortunately, the EEOC, established as part of the 1964 law, immediately attempted to subvert the law which had created it.  D’Souza cavalierly writes that the EEOC quickly collected racial statistics from large corporations (205).  What he fails to add is that this collection of statistics was prohibited by the law the EEOC was commissioned to enforce.  The EEOC collected the racial statistics illegally.  It then subverted the law so that statistics would be used to provide a prima facie case of discrimination against corporations when the EEOC judged the proportions of minorities or women too low.  Intent to discriminate was dismissed as irrelevant; numbers made the case.  Even job qualifications, such as a high school diploma or a crime-free record, were soon found discriminatory because of their disparate impact on blacks seeking employment.  Ever more qualifications were abandoned for ever more jobs. Standards declined.

Such an outcome may have been one conclusion to the civil rights movement, but it was not the only possible one and certainly not the logical conclusion.  Nor was it inevitable.  In 1964 most liberals asserted such an outcome improbable if not absurd.  In part, this absurd conclusion became policy because of a conspiracy.  By 1971, disparate group impact or a disproportional number of a group working for a corporation was almost sufficient to clinch a case of “discrimination.”  To this day, there are headlines decrying racism because blacks are denied a proportional number of loans, or are arrested in excess of their percentage of the population.  As white men are most of the CEO’s of major corporations, this proves a “glass ceiling” of discrimination against women arid racism against minorities.

However, one neglected aspect of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 should be reconsidered—religion.  As Jews compose a disproportional number of students in medical schools, does this not prove discrimination against gentiles?  Remember, intent to discriminate is no longer considered; the proof is in the numbers.  If whites are guilty of racism against blacks, and men guilty of sexism against women, how much more are Jews guilty of discrimination against gentiles in medical schools, law schools, universities, the film industry, radio and television, National Public Radio?  Why has the EEOC not filed discriminatory suits against The New York Times, NBC, and the AMA?  Should not gentiles receive their “fair share,” their proportion of posts, in these areas?  What would happen if a Christian fundamentalist filed such a suit?

The reason the religious phrase in the Civil Rights Act is overlooked is because some of the EEOC bureaucrats most engaged in subverting the 1964 law and turning it into a legal requirement for proportional representation were adamant that such proportional representation should not apply to themselves!  Neither social democrat Sonia Pressman nor Alfred Blumrosen, engineers of the coup inside the EEOC, wanted to call attention to the disproportional share of Jews in highly profitable fields.7  So, while they conspired to overthrow the heart of the color-blind 1964 law and substitute instead their bean-counting, proportional approach, they made sure they never asked corporations or government agencies or law schools about the religious identities of their employees.  For some reason, the media has never exposed this inconsistency in enforcement of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Though D’Souza courageously breaks many taboos in his book, he generally evades raising the issue of religious proportionality.  Worse, when it does surface, he distorts it.  “Moreover, the enforcement of a proportional norm generates a paradoxical outcome.  It ends up punishing groups, such as Asians, who are themselves in this country a minority. . . The reason that Asians and Jews suffer under current policies is that there is no algebraic way to increase the proportion of underrepresented groups without simultaneously reducing the proportion of overrepresented groups” (300).  Of course, there is a way, and it has been the way since the EEOC conspirators developed it.  While Asians are a separate category for affirmative action reports and, for example, government tracks their proportions in university admissions, Jews are not so classified.  While Asians may therefore be restricted to university admissions approximate to their percentage in society, thereby greatly curtailing their opportunities, Jews do not encounter this restriction.  Jews are classified by the government not as Jews, but simply as non-Hispanic whites.  So Jews, some 2% of the population, have opportunity not for some 2%, but for 76% of the openings at law schools, medical schools, etc.  D’Souza utterly distorts the issue of proportionality of Jews on the rare occasion he discusses it.  On another page, he does refer to Jews having lucrative posts in excess of their proportion of the population, but that is when he is discussing the racist views of Black Nationalist Dr. Leonard Jeffries (417-18).

One important thread in D’Souza’s account is his challenge to Gitlin’s rather common view.  By searching for the roots of racism, D’Souza uncovers a surprising family tree.  He argues that the ancients, while holding their own culture and people to be superior to others, were generally not racists.  Thus the Greeks attributed the dark skins and differences of black cultures to the hotter climate where blacks lived.  But centuries later, during the Age of Discovery, Europeans encountered many primitive peoples in Africa and the New World.  When Europeans settled in hotter climates, they neither changed their colors nor descended into primitivism.  Climate ceased to explain the gaps between European civilization and the primitive cultures they met.  To better account for the gaps, learned Europeans developed the theory of racism—the notion that the abilities of various races are inherent in whatever clime.  D’Souza quotes Voltaire and other Enlightenment thinkers on the natural inferiority of blacks.  This view was elaborated by the best scientists of the time.  In the 19th century, Darwin endorsed it, and by 1900 scientific, reasonable, and progressive opinion was overtly racist.

D’Souza also traces another theme—the role of Christianity in defending the rights of people of color.  He discusses the Salamanca debates of 1550s in which Juan de Sepulveda argued that American Indians were to the Spanish as the woman to man, the child to the adult, the ape to man.  Acknowledging their architecture, Sepulveda claimed that this did not prove the Indians’ humanity; only that they were more akin to bees that constructed hives or ants that built nests.  The missionary Bartolomeo de Las Cases disagreed, defending the human nature of Indians, who were thus deserving of basic human rights (354-55).  (Ironically, as part of his policy to defend Indians, Las Casas urged the importation of African slaves.)  D’Souza also stresses the role of Christian churches in the Abolitionist movement in the US and the West.  Indeed, he maintains that abolition of slavery is one of the greatest achievements of the West (112).  D’Souza sees no abolitionist impulse in non-Western societies.  They not only permitted the institution of slavery, some took part in it, profiting by it, and some, like West African native chieftains, vigorously protested when the West sought to end the slave trade (105).  Moreover, in the Middle East, the founder of Islam, Muhammad, was himself a slave owner.  So D’Souza credits the West for achieving the abolition of slavery.  Moreover, in the West it was neither the humanists, nor Enlightenment thinkers, Darwinians, or scientists, but religious Christians who led the crusades against slavery and racism.  Another contrast between Gitlin and D’Souza concerns Herbert Aptheker.

Gitlin acknowledges how much New Left scholars owed to the Old, and he proceeds to name some (146).  But he omits mention of Aptheker, whose pioneering writings on black history inspired numerous scholars and activists.  Aptheker was a Communist, so the social democrat Gitlin purges his name.  Neo-conservative D’Souza does mention Aptheker, but only to attack his dissertation, American Negro Slave Revolts.  Along with many historians, D’Souza claims that few such revolts occurred (97).  Even if a few did revolt, the considerable discussion in the Southern press of slave conspiracies and revolts (over 250 compiled in Aptheker’s work), if nothing else, proves the great fear of slave revolts.  That fear might also reveal something about the institution of slavery.  D’Souza also states that many slaves, rather than attempt a “proletarian” type revolution in a hopeless situation, such as he caricatures Aptheker’s thesis, developed other means to sabotage the institution of slavery.  However, in addition to describing revolts and fears of revolts, Aptheker described numerous other methods used by slaves to subvert the institution that oppressed them, and he did so long before some of the historians D’Souza does cite. (Steinberg also discusses Aptheker, but only as an early critic of Myrdal’s An American Dilemma.)

When D’Souza discusses Franz Boas, he makes the same error he did in discussing the evolution of civil rights interpretation after 1964—one conclusion is not necessarily the only one.  While Boas was a proponent of cultural relativism, D’Souza uses this to jump to various conclusions.  We cannot condemn drug use or the illegitimacy rate, the crime rate or the anti-intellectual attitudes among blacks, for to do so is to impose majority values on the minority culture.  As each culture is beyond criticism, so is each individual.  Cultural relativism culminates in moral relativism (155).  A major flaw in D’Souza’s interpretation concerns the culture of American blacks.  That culture is American.  Blacks do not carry laundry on their heads to wash it by pounding it against rocks beside a local stream; they carry it by hand in plastic containers to laundromats that operate with American coins.  Few Afrocentrists are willing to forego their automobiles, televisions, or VCRs.  They want the best of Western, technological civilization.  To acquire it, they must be judged in its terms.  Perhaps an outback aborigine tribe can avoid being judged on the technological scale, but not blacks who reside in the US and are ready to protest if the postman fails to deliver the welfare check on time.  Boas’ theory does not necessarily lead to the so-called cultural and moral relativism outlined by D’Souza.  Furthermore, many of the multiculturalists and Afrocentrists are not cultural relativists: they do judge other cultures.  They are anti-scientific, anti-technological and anti-rational.  They condemn the West.

D’Souza states that white liberals have a difficult time acknowledging black racism (400).  Unfortunately, so has he.  How could a reasonable observer of American society, in the year of the Million Man March and the O.J. verdict, title a book The End of Racism?  Furthermore, throughout his lengthy work D’Souza writes as if black racists do not exist, using the word “racist” to mean exclusively white racism.   True, he does assert that blacks can be racists on page 23, but only after 400 pages does he finally confirm that blacks can be racists (400-29).  He concludes that black and white racisms are now mirror image ideologies (429), but neglects to stress that such a mirror image distorts reality for the two are of vastly unequal strength.  While the Million Man March and the Nation of Islam have friends in the Congressional Black Caucus, the Democratic Party, and financiers among foreign dictators, the Ku Klux Klan is, in D’Souza’s own words, “a virtually defunct organization” (392).

D’Souza contends that there is a clear “civilization” gap between blacks and whites in this country (527).  Some of his most searing rhetoric exposes the black side of the gap—such as inner city ghettos irrigated with alcohol, urine, and blood (16).  What causes the gap?  To liberals, the “root cause” of black pathologies is clear: white racism.  By contrast, Charles Murray and Richard Herrnstein in The Bell Curve are more apt to blame black chromosomes.  Aware that white racism declined over the past decades while black pathologies soared, D’Souza dismisses white racism as the cause.  However, he totally rejects biology as responsible for the differences between whites and blacks in intelligence, crime, or general pathologies (527).  Nevertheless, he assembles clear support for genetic differences among the races in native athletic abilities.  He points out that at the 1992 Olympics every gold medalist in track up to the 400 meter hurdles and again from the 800 meters through the marathon was awarded to blacks (437).  These are hardly the proportional results from a level starting gate mandated by those who favor present civil rights policies.  Furthermore, D’Souza acknowledges that these obvious racial differences in athletic performances cannot be addressed in the American media because it broaches on the taboo that there might also be intellectual differences between the races.

Though D’Souza has evoked the wrath of the Left, one purpose of his book is to dissuade Americans from accepting the position of the Right.  He hopes to provide an alternative explanation for the civilization gap and for black failure.  He explains the gap and those failures in terms of a maladaptive black culture.  Nevertheless, he seems almost desperate, digging trenches in a stop-gap effort, trying to prevent thinking Americans from accepting the implications of The Bell Curve:

Could it be that Herrnstein and Murray were articulating truths that many whites privately believe?  After all, the liberal insistence that the races are identical seems to conflict with common sense observation and must be accompanied by an elaborate rationale for why blacks are doing very poorly in America, for why black crime and illegitimacy rates are vastly higher than those of whites and Asians, for why the white nations of the world are the most prosperous, for why much of Asia and Latin America are expanding economically while most of Africa remains in a state of economic and political chaos.  By contrast, Herrnstein and Murray’s view appears to succeed by the logic of Occam’s razor: a natural hierarchy of racial abilities would predict and fully account for such phenomena (12).

If Herrnstein and Murray are right, “the hope of a society in which all groups compete on equal terms is an illusion” (13). 

D’Souza warns about “eugenics.”  Again, he jumps to one improbable outcome as if it were the most likely or inevitable one.  It is the same logic so prominent in the 1950s: if America adds fluoride to its water supply the result will be socialized medicine followed by Stalinist gulags.  Now, when the media report any possibility of racial differences in intelligence, they invariably invoke the horrors of the Holocaust.  Only many pages after D’Souza raises the issue of eugenics, does he point out that if millions were murdered in the name of racial hierarchy by Hitler, millions more have been slaughtered in the name of equality by Stalin, Mao, and their admirers (464).

The implications of The Bell Curve worry D’Souza: “If IQ differences between racial groups are inherited and are substantial, then . . . we have to ask the alarming questions: was the Southern racist position basically correct, and are some forms of segregation and discrimination justified?” (465). But this does not follow.  The Bell Curve shows overlaps in IQ between and among races.  The segregationists drew a line, all blacks on one side, all whites on the other.  The Bell Curve presents a continuum.  Its implications are simply not those D’Souza draws.  If The Bell Curve is accurate and the races differ in intelligence as they do in athletics, then, for example, in school tracking systems, more whites would probably be in advanced classes, more blacks in slower ones.  If that is attuned to the abilities of each child, that is how it should be.  If only a small percentage of blacks were CEOs or philosophers, that may not necessarily be due to racial discrimination but to differences in natural abilities.  Michael Levin has elaborated on some of these points arguing that, if one takes IQ scores seriously, blacks turn out to be overrepresented among philosophers, CEOs, etc.

But, what if Murray and Hermstein are correct?  Should their science be denied because D’Souza and the Left are disturbed by its possible social implications?  Would D’Souza reject Galileo because his scientific observations raise “alarming questions”?  D’Souza accuses liberals of submitting to ignorance and fear: ignorance of the cause of racism, i.e., the civilization gap, and fear that biology best explains that gap.  But D’Souza seems to share the same fear—that biology may indeed be the cause of the civilization gap between black and white.

There is, however, a simpler solution.  Whatever the IQs of groups, the government should treat individuals as individuals.  In assignments to advanced or slower classes, color should count less than IQ.  Affirmative action liberals would rig the results, but so do segregationists—one with proportional representation of the races in those classes, the other dividing them by race.  But why not let the chips fall where they may?  For most Americans that was the purpose of the civil rights movement, as well as the 1964 Civil Rights Act.  If in America the law were applied to individuals rather than groups, “genetic” problems might well recede to the background where they belong.

In a scathing letter, Lawrence Auster has written that

. . . when he [D’Souza] finally discusses the hereditarian position at length, Mr. D’Souza, after much hemming and hawing, reluctantly admits that he has no arguments against it:  “The Bell Curve makes a strong case that cannot be ignored . . . The conclusion of most scholars is that despite many caveats, there is no scientific basis for rejecting the possibility that race differences in I.Q. are partly hereditary” (475-76). Having quietly conceded what he loudly denounces as “racist” everywhere else in his book, Mr. D’Souza looks for an escape hatch: “it is possible to reject the fatalism of genetic theories of I.Q. differences, as I do.  My view is that . . . it is a reasonable hypothesis that [racial] I.Q. differences can be explained by culture and environment.”  But he offers not a shred of support for that “reasonable hypothesis,” other than his wish that it be true—and his hope that some future evidence may confirm it.8

According to D’Souza, the civilization gap between black and white is not genetic, but a consequence of blacks’ maladaptive culture.  Is “black culture” really maladaptive?  D’Souza claims that under slavery blacks, while not engaged in open rebellion, developed admiration for the “bad nigger,” who defied authority, stole from the master, malingered, broke tools, etc.  Unfortunately, this “bad” type has been exalted into the present by liberal social policies.  Furthermore, affirmative action and diversity programs stress differences among people, and blacks hired for their race may emphasize what makes their race distinctive, the values of the bad nigger from the ghetto.  Because of liberal paternalism’s double standards, they were allowed to remain “bad.”  So cultural adaptations acquired during and appropriate to slavery have been reemphasized since the 1970s.

D’Souza judges those traits to be maladaptive today.  Glorification of the bad nigger culture results in high crime, drug, and illegitimacy rates and all the pathologies associated with the ghetto.  The cause is not the genes but culture.  Yet D’Souza never really disproves the possibility that the underlying causes of the differences between blacks and whites is genetic.  Worse yet, the culture he deplores may be responsible for much of black “progress” in recent decades.  Had there been no riots in the 1960s and constant treats of rioting since, would Nixon have made affirmative action national policy?  And would it remain so without the threats of further rioting?  Crime, in this context, is a riot in slow motion.  The coke-addicted black muggers and murderers may, through fear, “persuade” wealthy, and guilt-ridden whites to subsidize lesser-qualified blacks into the middle class.  Of course, the poor and middle class white is then mugged from below and shafted from above by the liberal elite.  What D’Souza castigates as maladaptive black culture may not be maladaptive at all.  Instead, in liberal society, along with crime, so-called “maladaptive culture” may be actually profitable.

Determined to avoid dealing with conspiracies, D’Souza does not mention the conspiracy in the EEOC that changed the nature of civil rights law.  He does point out, however, that affirmative action and the civil rights establishment is an alliance of wealthy whites and middle-class blacks (411).  What he does not emphasize is that it is often poor and middle-class whites who pay for the “good conscience efforts” of the wealthy—in lost jobs, lost promotions, extra expenditures for children to enter college because they were denied scholarships reserved for minorities, etc.  Gitlin invokes some of Michael Novak’s arguments concerning on how liberal policies ruined public schools, public housing, public parks, etc., but Gitlin forgets class and pretends poor whites are simply racists.  He also suggests that a poor, white teen, because of his race, is as privileged as, e.g., Senator Kennedy (121).  Steinberg assumes that all blacks are oppressed by all whites.  Only a neo-conservative like D’Souza discusses, if only on one page, class issues at the heart of affirmative action and the liberal welfare state.

The End of Racism is an encyclopedic work carefully documenting most of its main claims and showing familiarity with a vast array of topics.  Yet, not everyone is impressed with it.  On the Left, Todd Gitlin has complained that D’Souza’s research is “sloppy” and “amateurish” (Gitlin, 175).  On the Right, David Gordon has written that: “The book is utterly bad, one of the worst I have read in many years . . . D’Souza’s level of inaccuracy and the incompetence of his arguments are staggering.9  Unlike Gittlin, Gordon does point out some of D’Souza’s failings in discussing evolution, and some errors concerning Giordano Bruno and Houston Stewart Chamberlain, but these are trivial within the context of the whole project.

Clearly, social science has failed to provide a realistic analysis of race.   Worse yet, it has framed the issue in a destructive way threatening, if taken seriously, a major race confrontation as more and more blacks buy into the predominant social science ideology and declare themselves, not Americans, but Africans in America.  It is not surprising, therefore, that Farrakhan seeks to carve up the US and create an independent black nation.  If American society is to be saved from disintegration, then it is necessary to stop appeasing black racists and their allies among the liberal elite.  After all, it is not unreasonable for a society to take measures to insure its survival.



1 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Jan. 27, 1996).

2 The Chicago Tribune (Oct. 16, 1995).

3 The New York Times, letters (Oct. 20, 1995).

4 The New York Times (December 12, 1995).

5 It is interesting to note how Gitlin’s “scholarship” changes to support his altered political position.  In Twilight he writes: “Among black activists, the thrust was toward the spirit of go-it-alone.  The militants of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee felt betrayed by mainstream liberals, lost interest in alliances with whites, and ended up expelling even radical white organizers” (130).  The nearest footnote refers to “Todd Gitlin, The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage (New York: Bantam, 1987), pp. 151-62.”  In those pages, however, Gitlin justified the purge of whites from SNCC.  He divided SNCC workers into “floaters” (those more concerned with consciousness raising, general philosophy, and changing the whole individual) and practical members concerned with organizing people around immediate projects.  Gitlin regarded the purge of whites as simply a purge of impractical “floaters.”  I have already objected to Gitlin’s and similar analyses, like Clayborne Carson’s who implied that in SNCC black radicals expelled white liberals (see my “Change in the South,” Journal of Ethnic Studies, Summer 1988, esp. pp. 124-30).  For example, if the point was to expel floaters, then Bob Moses and other blacks would also have been purged.  But neither black floaters nor black liberals were expelled, while practical white radicals like Bob and Dottie Zellner were unceremoniously kicked out.  Not only was the purge racist, it may have had McCarthyite overtones (see my discussion of the earlier expulsion of whites from New Orleans CORE in 1962 in my letter in Society, Jul.-Aug. 1995, pp. 10-11; and my “To Win These Rights” in Virginia Quarterly Review, Winter 1996, esp. p. 186).  Having finally come to the realization that black nationalism may be problematic, in Twilight Gitlin finally concedes that white radicals were among those purged for being white.

6 Hugh Graham, The Civil Rights Era (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990), p. 150.

7 For details, see Graham, op. cit., pp. 191, 195,198,236,245-48.

8 In The Wall Street Journal (November 13, 1995).

9 David Gordon, review of D’Souza’s The End of Racism, in The Mises Review (Winter 1995).

Posted March 13, 2007


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