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A Fresh Look at a Disgraceful Episode: James Scott’s The Attack on the Liberty

Forty-two years ago today the USS Liberty, a U.S. spy ship sailing in international waters north of the Sinai Peninsula, sustained a series of aerial and torpedo attacks by Israeli defense forces. Thirty-four U.S. servicemen died and 171 crew members were injured in the relentless assault.

The details of the extensive damage, suffering, and horrific destruction, including the valiant efforts to save the severely injured crew and to keep the ship afloat, are disclosed in James Scott’s riveting new book, The Attack on the Liberty: The Untold Story of Israel’s Deadly 1967 Assault on a U.S. Spy Ship.

The author’s sobering account of the human suffering and carnage during the deadly air and sea attacks draws the reader into a surreal story of heroism, tragedy, despair, and ultimately dishonor by the military branch which warned the surviving crew members not to discuss the details of the attacks to anyone.  (See also this Seattle Times article on Scott’s book.)

Leaving Malta on a New Mission

The 455-foot reconnaissance ship had monitored early developments in the six-day war betweenIsrael and neighboring Arab states near the coast of Egypt. On the fourth day of the war, theUSS Liberty sustained heavy damage after a barrage of fire from Israeli jets. The jets strafed the ship from bow to stern with rocket missiles, cannon shells and machine gun rounds. Cannon fire left bowling-ball size holes in the upper deck of the ship. Israeli torpedo boats fired on theLiberty. A direct torpedo hit killed 26 and severely crippled the ship causing it to list badly.

USS Liberty after attack, with 40-foot wide torpedo hole below the waterline

Crew members worked round the clock, many with twisted pieces of shrapnel lodged in their bodies that resulted in punctured internal organs and severe internal bleeding, in a valiant effort to restore the ship’s communications system after the radio antennae and transmitters were taken out by Israeli missile and rocket fire.

(Last month electronics technician Terry Halbardier received a Silver Star for connecting a cable between an antenna and a radio transmitter during the air assault on the Liberty. Halbardier’s body, left leg, and both arms were hit with shrapnel but the 23-year-old shipmate prevailed despite his wounds and his efforts allowed a radioman to send a Mayday distress call to the U.S. Sixth Fleet. His vital role in restoring the ship’s radio transmitter is believed to have ultimately saved the ship from further attacks.)

Electronics Technician Terry Halbardier received a Silver Star for his heroism in the USS Liberty attack.

Investigators found some 821 rocket and cannon holes that knocked out all of the ship’s 45 antennae. Napalm canisters plastered burning petroleum jelly over parts of the upper deck and created surface temperatures of nearly 3,000 degrees.

Scott notes that the bombing raids, “had shattered portholes, ripped open metal doors, and destroyed the forward machine gun tubs, where sailors had died desperately trying to save the ship. Charred and blistered paint covered much of the port side from the combination of napalm and the 110 gallons of gasoline that had furiously burned on deck.”

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Many of the injured were severely ripped up by flying shrapnel, including razor-sharp metal shards that had penetrated internal organs and in some caused non-stop bleeding. The doctor onboard worked round the clock to treat the injured despite little surgical experience. Sponges were used to soak up the blood where internal hemorrhaging created large deposits and shutdown vital organs among the gravely wounded. Arm to arm blood transfusions were administered in some cases.

Rescue crews from a tug boat sailed as close as a thousand yards behind the ship as theLiberty made its way across the Mediterranean. “The majority of the damage,” Scott notes, “was below the waterline and in the ship’s most sensitive spot, the NSA’s top-secret hub. Seawater flowed freely through flooded compartments as the Liberty steamed west, washing classified papers and bodies into the Mediterranean.” One diver retrieved a body that had been in the water three days, first in the flooded compartments following the torpedo strike and then floating out to sea. The diver noted that a piece of shrapnel struck the back of the sailor’s head and “[t]he exit wound caused the face to explode. Peering through his mask, [the diver] saw what looked like the man’s brains and skin hanging down in the water.”

Debunking Myths

Scott dissects several lingering myths that overshadow the Liberty incident.

Israeli pilots and naval personnel misidentified the USS Liberty.

The notion that the Liberty was fired on erroneously and mistaken for the Egyptian ship El Quseir, a vessel half as big as the Liberty, has been thoroughly discredited. Naval investigators, admirals, former Johnson administration officials, and National Security Agency and State Department officials reject the claim that Israel fired on the Liberty in error.

The Israeli attacks on a U.S. naval ship were accidental.

The actions of the Israeli forces and extent of the destruction indicate that Israeli perpetrators were neither randomly “trigger happy” nor unaware that the targeted ship was an American ship. The author’s father John Scott, a Liberty survivor, was on deck watch on the morning of the attacks and witnessed a reconnaissance plane which “made 3 runs fore and 2 aft in a figure eight pattern…and headed back towards Tel Aviv.”

The apology by the Israeli government and eventual settlement to the families of theLiberty’s dead crewmembers adequately resolved Israel’s culpability in the attacks.

Reparations were paid to the families of the dead and wounded Liberty sailors in two installments (one for $3.3 million and another in March 1969 for $3.5 million). Israelsettled on $6 million to cover damages to the ship, a figure lower than the settlement U.S.officials requested.

The naval inquiry into the attacks absolved Israel’s actions.

Scott quotes Rear Admiral Thomas Brooks, a former director of naval intelligence, who “described the treatment of the Liberty’s crew as a ‘national disgrace.’ The Navy was ordered to hush this up, say nothing, allow the sailors to say nothing….The Navy rolled over and played dead.”

President Johnson ordered Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach to press the Israelis for reparations “to the injured and the families of the men killed and make sure the payments were generous.” Katzenbach, when asked by the book’s author if “he had ever demanded to know why Israel attacked….’No,’ he said. ‘What good would it do? What would it tell you?’”

Why Did They Do it? Israel’s Motivations for Attacking the USS Liberty

The big unanswered question is what motivated the Israelis to attack a defenseless U.S. ship in international waters. Scott presents a convincing case that the attacks were deliberate and intentional, but offers little insight into the question of the day: Why?

According to Scott, “William Dale, the embassy’s second in command, suspected that the Israelis feared that the intelligence collected by the Libertymight fall into Arab hands. The Department often sent telegrams with intelligence information to multiple embassies. A pro-Arab American diplomat stationed inDamascus, Beirut, or Cairo might pass along information to his contacts, a dangerous wartime proposition for Israel.”

Scott also quotes former NSA director Bobby Ray Inman as saying that former NSA Deputy Director Louis Tordella believed that Israel did not want a repeat of the 1956 Suez Crisis when Eisenhower pressured the Jewish state into withdrawing from territories it had captured. Inman stated that “[Tordella’s] view was that [the Israelis] didn’t want to run a risk that we would detect exactly what they were going to do and try to bring it to a halt with a lot of pressure before they achieved their objectives. … They knew exactly what the ship was and what it was doing and therefore it was, in his [Tordella’s] view, a deliberate act to try to protect the plans until they finished what they were going to do [in the Six-Day War].”

According to a 2006 declassified internal history report, the CIA position  had changed over the years and, given the mounting evidence, it discounted the idea that the attack was a mistake. Former CIA Director Richard Helms cast doubt on the notion that the attack was the result of Israeli blunders. “I don’t think there can be any doubt that the Israelis knew exactly what they were doing,” Helms said, “Why they wanted to attack the Liberty, whose bright idea this was, I can’t possibly know. But any statement to the effect that they didn’t know that it was an American ship and so forth is nonsense.”

Admiral John S. McCain, Sr., Sen. John McCain’s father, barred investigators from traveling to Israel during the naval investigation. Yet the Navy’s full report—released eight days after the incident—concluded that the attack was a case of mistaken identity. The full report was kept from the public record for a full decade until it was declassified and then it omitted “all the evidence that contradictedIsrael’s explanations.”

Scott also seems well aware of the dynamics of ethnic politics and the influence that organized Jewish interests played in the awkward tip-toe responses on the part of the Johnson administration. Scott describes Johnson’s sensitivities to organized Jewish political activists within the Democratic Party as an overriding concern, which seemed to drive the conduct of the administration’s handling of the aftermath of the attacks on the Liberty.

In particular, Scott points out how pro-Israel Johnson was, surrounding himself with Jewish advisors, increasing aid to Israel, etc. However, despite all this concern for Jewish interests, the Jewish community did not support Johnson’s war:

Despite Johnson’s lavish support of Israel, many American Jews refused to back the Vietnam War, a source of frustration inside the administration as antiwar rallies increased and the president’s popularity plummeted. Jews had become so prominent in the antiwar movement that it sparked a protest button: “You don’t have to be Jewish to be against the war in Vietnam.” Johnson, who viewed Vietnam and Israel as small countries threatened by Soviet-backed adversaries, struggled to understand that disconnect.

In the end, the infuriating aspect of Scott’s research on how the Johnson administration handled the USS Liberty incident is that he shows that political considerations and sensitivities to Jewish ethnopolitical interests—an unpopular war in Vietnam, growing disenchantment with the administration’s foreign policies, the domestic influence of Jewish anti-war activists, and Israel’s victory in the six-day war—triumphed over the lives of U.S. servicemen.

What is truly pathetic is that quite a few top people in the Johnson administration (including Johnson himself) were privately enraged over the Israeli attacks and the cavalier response on the part of Israeli officials. Israel issued a brief apology for the attacks but failed to investigate or bring to justice the officials who ordered the attacks. To this day, no one conclusively knows how far up the Israeli chain-of-command the orders to attack the Liberty originated.

That someone in Israel’s military structure did so and continues unaccountable for this deadly, unprovoked massacre is a disgrace to the heroic efforts of the Liberty’s crew who deserve a full accounting—from the U.S. and Israeli governments—of this sordid ordeal.

The Attack on the Liberty: The Untold Story of Israel’s Deadly 1967 Assault on a U.S. Spy Ship, by James Scott; Simon and Schuster, 2009; 374 pp., $27.

Kevin Lamb (email him), a freelance writer, is a former library assistant for Newsweek, managing editor of Human Events, and assistant editor of the Evans-Novak Political Report. He is the managing editor of The Social Contract.

Obama as a Modern Pharaoh

Those of us who are critical of the power of the Israel Lobby have been intrigued by the fact that the Obama administration seems to be standing up to the Israelis — and, by implication, to the Israel Lobby. After all, during the election campaign Obama did all the right things to show his support of the Israel Lobby and calm the fears of some Jewish activists that he would not be sufficiently pro-Israel, including which Philip Weiss termed a “truckling” speech at the AIPAC convention.

Obama was rewarded for his apparent fealty. Around 80% of Jews voted for Obama, and Jews contributed more than 50% of the Democratic Party’s money during the campaign. His choice of Rahm Emanuel (who served with the Israeli Defense Force during the 1991 Gulf War) as Chief of Staff and the presence of seasoned pro-Israel activists like Dennis Ross in the State Department also made it seem that Obama’s policy toward Israel would not be a major departure.

Nevertheless, the Obama administration has appointed George Mitchell (who has a reputation as relatively evenhanded) as Middle East envoy and made conciliatory statements toward the Muslim world. More importantly, the administration has called for a two-state solution and pressed Israel to put a meaningful freeze on settlement expansion—including what Steven Walt terms the “fig leaf of ‘natural growth’”. (The New York Times reports that if all the currently approved West Bank housing units were actually built, it would almost double the total.)

One could be excused for being skeptical about these developments. Walt interprets the Obama administration’s behavior as entirely in keeping with the thrust of the ideas presented in The Israel Lobby. He interprets the stance of the Obama administration as a hopeful sign that the United States is at last pursuing a policy that is in the interests of both the US and Israel. But he warns that thus far, it’s all rhetoric.

Indeed, other presidents—most notably Jimmy Carter and George H. W. Bush—have put pressure on Israel, only to be thwarted because of the power of the Israel Lobby in Congress. There have already been murmurs of dissent in Congress about Obama’s statements among both Democrats and Republicans—the latter doubtless sensing a political opening.

It must concentrate the minds of the Obama administration to realize that Carter and Bush were one-term presidents who were heavily criticized by the Israel Lobby. Jimmy Carter was widely viewed as hostile to Israel during the 1980 election, and his policy toward Israel was the main impetus to the migration of neoconservatives to the Republican Party. Many believe that George H. W. Bush’s loss in 1992 stemmed from his attempt to rein in the settlements. (George W. Bush apparently got the message and decided not to alienate the Lobby on the settlement issue. This resulted, among other things, in his administration becoming bogged down in a needless and costly war in Iraq.)

One wonders if many American Jews feel they would have been better off with John McCain and his neocon foreign policy advisors—especially considering that McCain’s treasonous attitudes on immigration and the rest of his domestic agenda were compatible with Jewish attitudes.

The reaction to the Obama administration’s rhetoric by Jewish fanatics in Israel has been predictably over the top. National Religious Party’s leader, Science Minister Daniel Herschkowitz, compared Obama to an archetypal anti-Semite from the past: “The American demand to prevent natural growth is unreasonable, and brings to mind Pharaoh who said: Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river.”

Israeli activists are launching protests, and posters of “Barak Hussein Obama” (middle name included) in Arabic headgear with the statement “Anti-Semitic Jew Hater” are being distributed throughout Israel.

Poster of President Obama Wearing a Kaffiyeh

Philip Weiss notes that one of the protests was organized by “none other than Nadia Matar, who when we last saw her was raising [tax deductible] money in a New York synagogue and calling for Mahmoud Abbas to be assassinated.” The following statement by an activist gets at the depth of emotion involved:

I’m here to tell Obama that Eretz Yisrael belongs to the Jewish people. What right does anybody have to tell us to stop building in the land that was given to us by God? I’m not going to stand by and let Obama, or anybody else, tell me where I can live and where I can’t live.

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This is actually quite mild compared to the comments (most of them scatological) by young Israelis in this video by Max Blumenthal. Blumenthal defends his video here, noting the “climate of extremism that exploded into the open when the country attacked Gaza.” His video shows that “vitriolic levels of racism are able to flow through the streets of Jerusalem like sewage, why the grandsons of Holocaust survivors feel compelled to offer the Shoah as justification to behave like fascist street thugs, and how the sons and daughters of successful Jewish American families casually merged Zionist cant with crude white supremacism.” It’s an excellent example showing that attitudes that are normal in Jews are absolutely forbidden to Europeans.

J Street and the Israeli left (and commentators such as Steven Walt) believe that freezing the settlements and agreeing to a viable Palestinian state are good for Israel. I have expressed doubts about this in my review of The Israel Lobby—the main point being that Israel has the power, especially with the cooperation of the US, to achieve its goal of seizing substantially all of the West Bank and relegating the Palestinians to a completely degraded status to the point that most will emigrate.

Of course, these aggressive, expansionist policies make Israel into an international pariah. But the Israel Lobby has a long and successful track record in rationalizing Israeli behavior, at least in the United States.

The more important point is that it really doesn’t matter if it’s good for Israel. The present government is the most right-wing in Israeli history, and many of its supporters are the types of fanatics putting up posters stating that Obama is an “Anti-Semitic Jew hater.”

The extremists have had a powerful say in Israeli politics, at least since the 1967 war. They are now more entrenched than ever. There is simply no way that these people are going to make major territorial concessions without a fight.

Any attempt to rein in the settlements or make a meaningful withdrawal from the West Bank and East Jerusalem or allow a viable Palestinian state would produce a civil war among Israelis. But it’s also quite clear that there is no political will in Israel for supporting such policies. The Labor Party functions mainly to collaborate with the right in order to give it a fig leaf of respectability (see also here). (Predictably, Labor leader Ehud Barak was sent to the US to present the Israeli position on the settlements.) According to my calculation, theethno–religious–nationalist–pro-settlement right holds 92 of 120 seats in the Knesset.

As throughout Jewish history, it is the most committed members who determine the direction of the entire group. This is doubtless true of most groups, but it is especially the case with Jews where there is a long history of fanaticism. In the present case, the most fanatical members of the Jewish community are firmly in support of territorial expansion in the West Bank. They are a solid majority in Israeli politics.

I am reminded of Christiane Amanpour’s depiction of Jewish fanatics in her excellent TV documentary, God’s Jewish  Warriors (now back online[!]). One of the early scenes shows a large force of Israeli soldiers forcibly removing settlers from a Hebron neighborhood. Imagine what it would be like to remove anything approaching the nearly 500,000 settlers (as of 2006) now living in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights.

These West Bank settlers and Jewish activists are massively ethnocentric, and they do not accept Western values like democracy and free speech. They live in a completely Jewish world where their every thought and perception is colored by their Jewish identity. Theirs is an apartheid world separated by high concrete walls from their Palestinian neighbors, where even tiny settlements are necessarily protected by the Israeli army.

At a time when Americans are constantly being encouraged by Jewish organizations like the ADL to be ever more tolerant of all kinds of diversity, these people are anything but tolerant. Calls for expropriation and expulsion of the Palestinians are commonplace among them. Many believe that God gave Jews all of the West Bank and Jerusalem.

Such people may not be representative of the Jewish community, at least in America. But their numbers are large, and they have created “facts on the ground” that make any kind of reasonable settlement impossible.

In the foreseeable future, it is quite clear that no Israeli government will fail to promote their interests. And the problem will only exacerbate as time goes on because the fanatics are the ones having the children. Already, the calls for “natural growth” of the settlements are rationalized because of the high fertility of the settler population.

As Walt points out, there are indeed signs in America that the less fanatic Jews, such as J Street, may have some influence in blunting the force of the Israel Lobby or possibly even turning it against the settlement movement. However, in keeping with the general finding that the most extreme Jews tend to win the day within the Jewish community, I predict that in the end Jews will be forced to choose between supporting their extremist brethren, or become marginalized or even ostracized from the Jewish community. The great majority of activist Jews in the US will support Israel even if it continues to stand firmly behind the settlement movement.

And when push comes to shove, Jews will go along with the activists who lead the organized Jewish community. One can talk about U.S. interests or Israeli interests all one wants, but this is a fight to the finish.

I’m not sure that Obama realizes what he’s getting into.

Kevin MacDonald is a professor of psychology at California State University–Long Beach.  Email him.

Star Trek and the Multi-Racial Future

The new Star Trek movie, directed by J.J. Abrams, raises interesting questions about the future of multiculturalism.  The film sends two strong messages:

1)    Diversity is normal.  As in the original television series, the cast of characters is a menagerie of distinct races and cultures: Kirk, a White man from rural Iowa; Scotty, a Scotsman with a heavy Scottish accent; Chekhov, a Russian with a heavy Russian accent; Sulu, an Asian; Uhura, a African-American; and Spock, a super-smart, green-blooded Vulcan.  The producers of Star Trek assume that in the year 2248 (239 years in the future), people will still exhibit distinct racial, cultural, and linguistic traits. Non-Whites are depicted as no less competent and no less likely to hold positions of authority than White people, and diverse workforces on spaceships are highly functional.

2)    Interracial relationships are normal.  All of the sexual/romantic relationships depicted in the film are interracial except for one (Kirk’s father and mother).  Kirk, apparently, is sexually attracted only to non-Whites and non-humans.  Interracial relationships are depicted not only as common, but as unquestionably right.  Spock, who has a Vulcan father and a human mother, reacts emotionally to nothing except criticism of his mixed parentage.  In a poignant moment in the movie, Spock’s father teaches him that one’s choice of a mate should be based more on “love” than on “logic” — or genetic similarity, we can assume.  Spock himself has a black romantic partner in the movie.

The Multi-Racial World of Star Trek

I wonder how many viewers perceive the incompatibility of these two messages. Star Trek’s fictional world is set 10 generations in the future. It’s a world where technology has eliminated geographical barriers, where people live and work in well-functioning, diverse environments, where interracial relationships are normal, and where any social controls against exogamy are considered morally wrong. In such a world, the races and cultures would have had plenty of time to blend together.

The producers of Star Trek are essentially suggesting that the races and cultures of the world today should not only celebrate diversity, but practice exogamy to a very high degree — at least to the degree, presumably, that groups of White people have practiced exogamy with other White groups in the United States.

In considering the suggestion, imagine if a colonial American playwright, writing in 1770 (239 years in the past), made a prediction that the descendants of the distinct groups of Swedish, German, and English White people then living in America would, in 2009, continue to constitute three distinct groups with preserved genetic and linguistic traits.  Having the benefit of hindsight, we would think this playwright was a fool.

So what should we think of Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, the writers of the new Star Trek movie, and J.J. Abrams, the director?

Isn’t it obvious that in the long term, you can have diversity or free-wheeling exogamy, but you can’t have both?  If you want genetic and cultural distinctiveness, you will have to tolerate social controls against exogamy and a “good fences make good neighbors” attitude to cultural interaction.  If you want to remove all barriers to exogamy, on the other hand, you should expect a genetically blended society of people who won’t know their historical roots without conducting extensive genealogical research.

I think this is obvious now, but it wasn’t obvious to me just a few years ago, before I started reading publications like The Occidental Observer.  I remember hearing an interview of an Iraqi man who had been imprisoned by U.S. forces during the Iraq War.  He said (I paraphrase), “I have a message for the American people: Iraqis are happy to interact with Americans in diplomatic settings, in trade, at academic and scientific conferences, and the like. But I want to make one thing clear: You can never have our women!”

At the time, I thought perhaps he was joking, or if he was not, then he was probably an intolerant religious fundamentalist who had not learned the benefits of diversity and thus hated America and clung to backward views about women. If “his” women wanted to move to America and marry Americans, I thought, they should be allowed to pursue their happiness.

Now, however, I think this man’s attitude (or the gender-neutral essence of it) may be the only hope earth has for the conservation of diversity into the twenty-third century.  It’s a standoffish position, certainly, but not a “hateful” one.  It allows for intercultural friendships, just not miscegenation.  And while this attitude may not seem as “positive” and conflict-free as the no-barriers stance exemplified in the Star Trek movie, isn’t it better to risk hurt feelings in the short term in exchange for protecting against cultural loss in the long term?

Of course, any attempt to re-legitimate social controls against exogamy would undermine decades of efforts to pathologize these social controls, especially those practiced by Whites. Perhaps it is interesting that the ethnicities of the movie’s creators — Abrams and Kurtzman are Jewish, while Orci is Latino — are ethnicities that are relatively insulated from the integrationist zeitgeist. There is no popular criticism of Rahm Emmanuel’s decision to volunteer at an Israeli Defense Force base during the Persian Gulf War, for example, or Sonia Sotomayor’s decision to join La Raza. Meanwhile, Louis Farrakhan is considered dangerous, all forms of explicit White collectivism are considered evil, and Barack Obama’s mixed parentage is celebrated.

If the two messages of the Star Trek movie dominate American culture over the next ten generations, perhaps the only distinctive groups left standing will be those that are able to control culture in order to exempt themselves from the universal moral norm of miscegenation and continue to maintain social controls against exogamy among their own group members. Whites, of course, being considered the historically “dominant” group against which other groups define themselves, will be least able to obtain such exemptions, and thus, perhaps, the least likely to be around to command the Starship Enterprise.

Jonathan Pyle (email him) is a lawyer in Philadelphia.

The Sotomayor Nomination: More Glimpses of Jewish Activism — and a Warning to Republicans

The campaign by some Jews with access to the media to get Elena Kagan nominated for the soon-to-be vacant Supreme Court position failed —but will probably be resurrected the next time around. VDARE.com’s Patrick Cleburne has also noted the Jewish angle to the pro-Kagan campaign — suggesting that the article by Jeffrey Rosen questioning Sotomayor’s intellectual qualifications was really an attempt to promote Kagan by default. In a follow-up article, Rosen stressed the need for the next Supreme Court nominee to be “not merely impressive but absolutely stellar.”

You can see where this is going: Kagan = brilliant — despite her less than lackluster record of academic scholarship en route to the most prestigious position in legal academia.

Writing in the LA TimesDavid Greenberg does his part, describing Elena Kagan as “manifestly brilliant,” and also agreeing with Cleburne that criticisms of Sotomayor were motivated by the desire to promote people like Kagan.

Of course, Jews need not fear that Sotomayor would disappoint them in her voting. Representatives of Jewish groups were actively involved in consulting about the nomination. And even though they may have preferred Kagan, they doubtless had no objections to Sotomayor.

Gary McCoy Cartoon

Indeed, Sotomayor has long been courted by Jewish groups. Part of the full court press style of Jewish activism is that any person who is influential or who may at some point in the future become influential will be socialized to be sensitive to Jewish issues. And they will be scrutinized in the process, so that when the time comes, Jews can be confident that people of influence will be on board with their concerns.

In 1986 Sotomayor was invited to participate in Project Interchange, an undertaking of the American Jewish Committee aimed at providing “current and emerging United States and international leaders with an enhanced understanding of, and perspective on, Israel and the pursuit of Middle East peace through introductory educational seminars in Israel” (links in original). The people invited on these junkets are quite diverse — including members of the US military, editors of student newspapers in American universities, presidents and chancellors of American universities, French Muslim civic leaders, Pentacostal Latino clergy, and Indian-Americans.

The only thing they have in common is that at some point they may be able to influence policy toward issues important to the organized Jewish community, even if that time is a long way in the future.

Project Interchange isn’t the only such organization. The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs has long promoted ties between the US and Israeli military establishments. JINSA pays for trips to Israel for retired U.S. generals and admirals who then write op-ed pieces and sign letters and advertisements championing the Likudnik line. JINSA also has programs for sending US law enforcement personnel to Israel and for providing speakers at US military academies.

Since her 1986 visit to Israel, Sotomayor visited Israel again in 1996 and participated in a recent U.S.-Israel forum on immigration. She is also close friends with Project Interchange founder Debbie Berger and her husband, Paul.

Such courting of future leaders is doubtless an important aspect of Jewish activism. Whenever someone is mentioned for high office, Jewish newspapers report on his or her Jewish connections. In effect, there is a vetting process based on issues of importance to the Jewish community. And a critical part of that process is first hand, face-to-face relationships with Jews who are well-known and trusted by the wider Jewish community.  In effect, Debbie and Paul Berger are vouching for Sonia Sotomayor.

The JTA article “Life story, trips to Israel tie Sotomayor to Jews” is also of interest because it sheds light on how Jews think of themselves and their role in ethnic politics in America.

The story of her life — the daughter of a Puerto Rican single mother from the Bronx, N.Y., whose ambitions knew no bounds — resounded with a community that has made the story of immigrant triumph over struggle a template of Jewish American success.

“It was impossible not to moved by her personal story,” said Mark Pelavin, the associate director of the Reform movement’s Religious Action Center. “To see her mother sitting there and think about what this says about her and her country — the combination of someone who grew up in a housing project, who has been on the bench for a long time, but who has been a prosecutor as well, that combination is very powerful.”

“It was thrilling,” said Sammie Moshenberg, the Washington director of the National Council of Jewish Women.

These comments are quite similar to what Jews say when asked about why they support African Americans. As noted by historian Hasia Diner, Jews “believe that Jewish concern for black people was ‘natural,’ growing out of parallel experiences of suffering and oppression.”

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There is an element of self-deception in this. The Jewish rise from immigrant poverty to elite status has virtually nothing in common with the rise of people like Sotomayor who are the beneficiaries of the post-1960s affirmative action culture of America. Whatever Jewish self conceptions of their role in American ethnic politics, the only consistent thread has been to oppose the interests of the White, European-derived majority. In addition to favoring massive non-White immigration and promoting programs that pathologize White identity and interests, making alliances with other minority groups has been a critically important part of that effort.

The main Jewish organizations taking a leadership role in building alliances with non-White groups are the American Jewish Committee, the Jewish Community Council of Greater Washington, and the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding. For example, the FFEU was cofounded by Rabbi Marc Schneier, president of the North American Boards of Rabbis; Russell Simmons of hip hop fame is the Chairman of the Board of Directors. The FFEU is closely tied to the World Jewish Congress, which cosponsors the Foundation’s Washington, DC office and several of its programs.

These Jewish organizations have sought close relationships with Latino organizations such as the National Council of La Raza and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). For example, one project of the FFEU is to organize an annual meeting of the NAACP, the National Council of La Raza, the World Jewish Congress, and the National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium.

Quite clearly the various non-European ethnic groups are developing close ties, and Jewish organizations are taking the lead in this effort. As Paul Gottfried said about minority groups opposing dominant cultures (and I agreed), it’s not that Jews are unique in playing this game. They are just better at it than others.

I point out this rich tapestry of Jewish ethnic activism to give some idea of what those who advocate for White identity and interests are up against. Like the Obama presidency, the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor is exactly the sort of thing favored by the activist Jewish community because it is yet another marker in the march toward the dispossession of Whites in America.

Finally, it’s interesting that the standard line from some party strategists is that Republicans need to be very cautious in their opposition to Sotomayor because Latinos are an emerging political force. Of course, this is the same advice that these strategists give on immigration: Don’t do anything to anger the Latinos.

But of course, the reality is that Latinos are never going to be attracted to a Republican Party that is in any sense conservative, much less oriented to the interests of Whites in a way that is comparable to how the Democratic Party is oriented to the interests of non-Whites. Polls in California show that Latinos favor high levels of government services and are willing to raise taxes to get them. California is now in a historic budget crisis in which government services to its ever-expanding population of poor and uneducated — fueled massively by legal and illegal immigration — simply cannot be sustained without huge increases in taxes. But massive tax increases will drive out businesses and White taxpayers in droves — indeed they have already done so.

White people might well be willing to pay higher taxes if the beneficiaries were people like themselves. But most Whites are not going to vote for higher taxes when the main beneficiaries are Latinos and other non-White poor — a straightforward result of our evolutionary psychology, as Frank Salter (see also here) and J. Philippe Rushton have shown. Instead, Whites voted overwhelmingly for a ballot proposition that would have denied services to illegal immigrants — only to be thwarted by the courts and other political elites.

Like all the great social trends, the Third Worldization of America begins in California.

A far better strategy for Republicans is to realize that their only long term hope is to become a party that explicitly (or at least implicitly) favors White people and their interests. A critical part of that process is to acknowledge that ethnic identity politics is not just for people like Sotomayor (who is a member of La Raza), Obama, and the Democratic Party.

Nate Beeler Cartoon

Sotomayor is quite blunt about the role of ethnic identity in influencing judicial temperament, famously stating “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.” This is from someone who owes pretty much her whole career to her ethnic identity and the willingness of American elites to ease her path into Princeton, Yale Law, the Circuit Court of Appeals, and now the Supreme Court of the United States.

We have to adopt the same explicit sense of White identity and interests. The Republicans seem bent on committing suicide rather than abandoning their principled hostility to ethnic identity politics for Whites. But, as Peter Brimelow notes, if that is the policy of the Republican Party, another party must and will be formed that do exactly that.

Kevin MacDonald is a professor of psychology at California State University–Long Beach.  Email him.

Who is an anti-Semite?

Someday the word “anti-Semite” will be studied as an example of distorted political discourse — as a signifier attached to somebody who advocates the reign of demonology. How does one dare critically talk about the extraordinary influence the Jews in the West without running the risk of social opprobrium?

We certainly cannot expect that Jewish intellectuals will think critically about Jewish influence. As a French author Hervé Ryssen writes, “internationally-known Jewish authors, haunted by the either real or surreal specter of anti-Semitism, consider it a sickness, which enables them to avoid any form of introspection.”

While it is a commonplace for White Europeans and Americans to critically talk in private about Arabs, Mexicans, Africans or, for that matter, deride their fellow White citizens, a critical comment about the influence of Jews, even if founded on empirical facts, is viewed as an insult to Jews. If a serious European and American scholar or a politician ventures into this minefield, his gesture is interpreted as a sign of somebody who writes his obituary.

Such a schizophrenic climate of self-censorship in the West will sooner or later lead to dramatic consequences for both Jews and non-Jews. The lack of healthy dialogue can last for decades, but feigned conviviality between opposing groups cannot last forever.  Mendacity carries the germ of civil war.

While many authors in the West sport staggering erudition in unabashedly challenging modern myths, the most sensitive point of reference of the twentieth century — Jewish influence — is carefully avoided. If the subject of Jews is ever brought up in a European or American public forum, it is in a laudatory fashion — a clear indication of the morbid desire of White ruling elites to curry favor with the Jews.

In the same vein, many intelligent White American and European racialists frequently decorate themselves with their “token Jews” in hopes of achieving some legitimacy in the mainstream media and seeking some camouflage in their opposition to non-European immigration or to various other myths of multicultural ideology. These individuals will likely be the first to declare themselves anti-Semites if the wind changes and critiques of Jewish influence become part of a new Zeitgeist.

The lack of open discussion about Jewish influence corroborates the thesis that Jews play a crucial role in opinion making in Western societies.  True power shows itself by not being open to discussion. Hypothetically speaking, if Jews, by some miracle, were to play a marginal role in Europe or America — as they publicly claim they do, then logically, they would not object to being the subjects of critical discussion, or for that matter derision — just as it is legitimate to discuss the power of other groups. But Americans are far more likely to read books about the nefarious power of Christian conservatives or “white racism” than they are to hear about the far greater power of the organized Jewish community.

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A common trait among many liberal Whites is intellectual servility — to look up to Jews as paragons of intelligence and moral rectitude. In the beginning of the 21st century there is no worse insult than qualifying a White politician or a White academic as an “anti-Semite.”

This intellectual servility of the Western political and academic class toward Jewry provides legitimacy to Jews in their endless search for a real or surreal anti-Jewish straw man. Organizations like the ADL trumpet even the most minor and deranged bit of anti-Semitism as heralding the next Holocaust.

The strange compound noun ‘anti-Semitism’ only gives Jews an additional alibi to project themselves as victims of prejudice. If anti-Semitism were non-existent it would have to be invented. The buzzword ‘anti-Semitism’ bestows upon the Jews a role of the moral and intellectual super-ego for White Europeans and Americans and by proxy for the entire world.

The frightened attitude of American and European intellectuals, who often extol the concept of “intellectual freedom,” is best seen in their schizoid attitude toward Jews. This was noted a long time ago by Wilmot Robertson, in his The Dispossessed Majority: “the pro-Semite has …made himself a mirror image of the anti-Semite.”  The danger of this fatal embrace lies not with Jews, but with Whites. An American anti-Semite must appear in the eyes of Jews as a very bizarre species. On the one hand, he hates this alien Jew; yet on the other, he lugs behind himself the Levantine mindset of hatred toward outgroups that is not of European cultural origin.

A prominent Jewish-French politician and author, Jacques Attali, in his much acclaimed book Les Juifs, le monde et l’argent, writes: “As Russian Jews invented socialism, and as Austrian Jews invented psychoanalysis, American Jews in the forefront, participated in the birth of American capitalism and in the Americanization of the entire world.” Because he is Jewish, Attali can make such comments without incurring the wrath of the Jewish activist organizations. If a White racialist author made a similar comment, he or she would be immediately shouted down as an “anti-Semite.”

That is why when a Jewish author talks openly and critically about Judaism — especially the strong Jewish role in social and political affairs in the postmodern West, his prose will elicit awe and respect. His words may be sometimes met with apprehension and irritation by his fellow Jews, as witnessed by Norman Finkelstein or to some extent Noam Chomsky, but his words will nevertheless find their place in the ears and eyes of mainstream audience.

The Necessity of ‘Kulturvolk’

A Jewish author, preferably of liberal or leftist pedigree, who tackles this greatest taboo of all times, will have a safe passage to media success. Such is the case with the liberal Jewish-Russian-American scholar, Yuri Slezkine, whose research does not reveal anything new regarding the Jewish role in the  ex-Soviet Union and elsewhere. Yet Slezkine has the privilege of saying what is forbidden to the goyim.

Slezkine notes that America, unlike Europe, with its relatively strong tribal allegiances, knew only “vestigial establishment tribalism.” From its inception, America was far more propitious for Jews than Europe; it became a laboratory of ideas for diverse multicultural and academic experiments — be they of infra-, intra-European, or extra-European nature. ”What Jewish intellectuals could not attain in Europe, or later in the Soviet Union, was at hand in America where Jewish power, economic status and cultural influence have increased dramatically since 1960.”

It should not come as a surprise that similar views about Jews were elaborated much earlier by many German scholars affiliated with the Institut zum Studium der Judenfrage in National Socialist Germany, but who for obvious reasons are squarely denounced as proverbial Nazis and anti-Semites. The Institute, whose director was Eberhard Taubert , had a large number of scholars whose goal was the detailed anthropological, political and psychological research of the Jewish question. Taubert, after WWII, was not purged but worked for a while for US intelligence.  In passing, it is worth noting that unlike the English and the French language, the rich German language does not have a single vulgar or slang word for the word “the Jew” (“Jude”).

Many Jewish scholars are aware of the schizoid White European mentality.  As Shmuel Trigano noted, while setting itself up as “new Israel,” the West recognized in Judaism a factual, if not a juridical jurisdiction over itself. And this boils down to saying that the West has become Jewish to the extent that for centuries it kept forbidding to Jews their own identity. It follows from this that the strange verbal construct “Judeo-Christianity” is an elusive oxymoron; it imprisons the West, which by its own act of submission accepts a different mindset — which is not its own.

One could argue that the West is subconsciously anti-Semitic to the extent that it has always yearned — be it in a theological or ideological fashion — to become Jewish. The thesis can be put forward that the West will cease to be obsessed with Jews and anti-Semitism once it leaves this neurosis, once it returns to its own local European traditions, and by stopping to be what it is not and allowing the “Other” to continue what he is.

What has been missing in the West, and particularly in America over the last 50 years is a strong sense of cultural identity. The German word Kulturvolk, stands for a rooted cultural and national community (and not just the adherence to White race), and it is a prerequisite for a sound White identity. In contrast to Germans, Russians, French, etc., the weak cultural identity among White elites in America was a major flaw among American nationalists, racialists and conservatives who, while being aware of Jewish influence, were unable to muster up cultural energy to counter it. However, with rapid racial changes in America there are signs that the common cultural identity among Whites in America is on the rise.

The feigned fraternity between the postmodern Euro-American “shabbos goyim” and American Jews is veiled in mendacity and mutual make-belief mimicry which can be spotted in the Western political establishment and the media at all times. It is too grotesque to last forever. Admittedly, it only gives rise to proverbial Jewish hubris which will continue to grow as long as it receives servile fodder from self-censored European academics and politicians.

Tom Sunic (www.tomsunic.infohttp://doctorsunic.netfirms.com/) is an author, former political science professor in the USA, translator and former Croat diplomat. He is the author of Homo americanus: Child of the Postmodern Age ( 2007).

Elena Kagan: Jewish Ethnic Networking Eases the Path of a Liberal/Leftist to the Supreme Court

A recent LA Times article, “Supreme Court Nominee has admirers left and right,” by David G. Savage and James Oliphant, although masquerading as news, is a brief for the candidacy of Elena Kagan for the position on the Supreme Court vacated by David H. Souter.  The article notes that she is well connected to top people in the Obama Administration, and there is effusive praise from two legal bigwigs, Laurence Tribe and Charles Fried, both of Harvard.

Kagan’s candidacy raises a number of issues. If nominated and confirmed, there would be three Jewish justices on the Supreme Court — all on the left. Jews are of course always overrepresented among elites — especially on the left, but 33% is high by any standard given that Jews constitute less than 3% of the US population. This is much higher than Jewish representation in the US Senate (13%) and the House of Representatives (~7%).  The last time I checked, if there were three Jews on the Supreme Court, the percentage would be about the same as the percentage of Jews among the wealthiest Americans.

Jews as one-third of the Supreme Court seems sure to raise the eyebrows among people like me who think that Jewish identity often makes a big difference in attitudes and behavior. And if there is one area where mainstream Jewish political identity has had a huge effect (besides anything related to Israel), it’s in attitudes and behavior related to multiculturalism. This is true of the Jewish mainstream across the entire Jewish political spectrum, from the far left to the neoconservative right. A major theme of The Culture of Critique is that Jewish identities and interests were apparent in all the Jewish-dominated intellectual movements of the left that have rationalized multiculturalism, massive non-White immigration, and the general displacement of Europeans:

Viewed at its most abstract level, a fundamental agenda is thus to influence the European-derived peoples of the United States to view concern about their own demographic and cultural eclipse as irrational and as an indication of psychopathology. (Ch. 5 of The Culture of Critique; emphasis in original)

Kagan seems to have lived a charmed life, with perhaps a whiff (or even a stench) of ethnic networking. At least one of the journalists writing the LA Timespanegyric is Jewish (David G. Savage), and the two legal scholars who are quoted in the article (Fried and Tribe) are both Jews. In addition, Kagan was appointed Dean of Harvard Law by Lawrence Summers — also Jewish and with a strong Jewish identity. Summers and Kagan covered for Laurence Tribe when he lifted a passage from another scholar’s book without attribution. Ethnic networking is nothing if not reciprocal.

While Jewish activists are doing all they can to promote a Jew for this position, we don’t hear a peep from White Protestants — a group that dominated the Supreme Court for 150 years.  With Souter’s departure, the only White Protestant left on the court is the superannuated Stevens, who is 89 and will doubtless be replaced by an ethnic minority if he retires during the Obama administration. (White males need not apply.)  When it comes to playing help-my-tribe battles, White Protestants are completely inept — in fact, they don’t even play at all.

Tribe’s praise for Kagan is particularly interesting: “She has an excellent chance, and she would be terrific. … She has a masterful command of so many areas of law. And she’s been vetted and recently confirmed. Her writing is not voluminous, which is also a plus.”

Indeed, her writing is not voluminous at all. In her entire career at the University of Chicago and Harvard — the very apex of elite academic institutions — she has written a grand total of 9 articles. Actually, her scholarly output is even less than that because two of these publications are book reviews and one is a tribute to Thurgood Marshall. When she received tenure at the University of Chicago in 1995, she had exactly two scholarly articles published in law journals — a record that would ordinarily not get her tenure even at quite a few third tier universities much less an elite institution like the University of Chicago.

But on the basis of this record and later work in the Clinton Administration, in 2003 she became the dean of Harvard Law School, the most prestigious law school in the country. She has yet to publish any articles or books since becoming dean. But now her lack of scholarship is called a plus by Laurence Tribe, presumably because her positions on many issues are unknown. (Doubtless if Kagan had a stellar scholarly record, Tribe would have seen it as a major plus.)

Not only does she have a weak record as a scholar, she has yet to argue a case as Solicitor General even though she had the opportunity to do so. Her next opportunity to argue a case will not happen until after the Supreme Court nomination process is over, so we will have no information on how effective she would be in fending off the arguments of the conservative intellectual heavyweights on the Court before this weighty decision is made. On the basis of the arguments she endorsed in the Solomon Amendment case (see below), one must assume that she would not fare well.

Nor are there any other discernible positives. As Savage and Oliphant note, “Kagan does not have the ‘real world’ experience in politics. …  It is not clear whether she has the “quality of empathy” Obama has said he wants in a nominee. But she has had an uncanny knack for winning important admirers and avoiding enemies in a series of top legal jobs.”

The only thing Kagan has going for her seems to be that important people admire her. She’s good at networking, and it would seem that many of her most prominent admirers are other Jews — liberal and conservative. (Tribe and Summers are liberals; Charles Fried is considered a conservative. Fried was Solicitor General in the Reagan Administration but voted for Obama.) Ethnic networking indeed!

This points to corruption in the Jewish sector of the American academic elite. Kagan’s path to the academic heights of the legal profession and perhaps to a position on the Supreme Court is not based on a solid record of scholarship or any other relevant experience, but on ethnic boosterism from other Jews. As I noted elsewhere, Jews are represented in elite American academic institutions at levels far higher than can be explained by IQ.

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Kagan is a poster girl for Jewish affirmative action. Not only does she have no discernible skills that would warrant her high position as dean of Harvard Law — much less an appointment to the Supreme Court, she is boosted by another Harvard professor (Laurence Tribe) who plagiarized another scholar’s work. (Plagiarism seems to run rampant at Harvard Law. Norman Finkelstein provides a credible case that Alan Dershowitz plagiarized others’ work in writingThe Case for Israel. Charles J. Ogletree Jr., an African American, was involved in double plagiarism: foisting off the plagiarized work of his assistants as his own.) And Kagan was appointed dean of Harvard Law by then-Harvard President Lawrence Summers who has massive ethical problems of his own related to shielding another Harvard professor, his friend and protégé Andrei Shleifer. Shleifer  was found liable by a federal court in 2004 for conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government for his activities during the transition to capitalism in Russia in the 1990s. Summers also accepted $2.7 million in speaking fees from companies that received government bailout money when he later became head of the National Economic Council.

What could we expect from Kagan on the Supreme Court? Kagan has been flagged by conservatives because of an amicus brief she and other law professors wrote seeking to strike down a law that prohibited colleges and universities that ban military recruiting on campus from receiving federal funds. The motive behind the brief signed by Kagan was to protest the military’s policy on homosexuality. Their arguments were rejected 8-0 by the Supreme Court, indicating that even the Court liberals thought it was completely outside the mainstream.

This strongly suggests that Kagan would be quite willing to fashion her legal arguments to attain her liberal/left policy goals, and that is exactly what her other writings show. Her 1993 article “Regulation of Hate Speech and Pornography After R.A.V,” (60 University of Chicago Law Review 873; available on Lexis/Nexis) indicates someone who is entirely on board with seeking ways to circumscribe free speech in the interests of multicultural virtue: “I take it as a given that we live in a society marred by racial and gender inequality, that certain forms of speech perpetuate and promote this inequality, and that the uncoerced disappearance of such speech would be cause for great elation.” She acknowledges that the Supreme Court is unlikely to alter its stance that speech based on viewpoint is protected by the First Amendment, but she sees that as subject to change with a different majority: The Supreme Court “will not in the foreseeable future” adopt the view that “all governmental efforts to regulate suchspeech … accord with the Constitution.” But in her view there is nothing to prevent it from doing so. Clearly, she does not see the protection of viewpoint-based speech as a principle worth preserving or set in stone. Rather, she believes that a new majority could rule that “all government efforts to regulate such speech” would be constitutional. All government efforts.

And until that day comes — doubtless speeded by her arrival on the court, she advocates finding ways to rationalize restrictions on free speech within the current guidelines of the court.  Her article proposes a variety of ways that “hate speech” may be restricted without running afoul of current Supreme Court guidelines. For example, she supports the constitutionality of “hate crime” laws that enhance penalties for crimes motivated by racial bias — precisely the sort of law recently passed by the House and now being considered by the Senate. Such laws have been strongly promoted by the organized Jewish community and condemned by conservative legal scholars as creating special victim categories and destroying federalism because they punish acts that are already illegal in the states.

Kagan’s conclusion shows where her heart is:

[Efforts to draft restrictions on speech] will not eradicate all pornography or all hate speech from our society, but they can achieve much worth achieving. They, and other new solutions, ought to be debated and tested in a continuing and multi-faceted effort to enhance the rights of minorities and women, while also respecting core principles of the First Amendment.

For Kagan, the crusade to restrict speech is motivated by her feminist and leftist political attitudes. Indeed, her 1993 paper was originally presented at a conference titled, “Speech, Equality, and Harm: Feminist Legal Perspectives on Pornography and Hate Propaganda.” She sees her job as a legal scholar to find a way to ensure that these goals are achieved while paying lip service to the legal tradition of the First Amendment. Indeed, she sees heavy-handed attempts to restrict free speech, such as the Stanford speech code, as counter-productive because they make “the forces of hatred into defenders of Constitutional liberty” and because they are so unreasonable they invite criticisms of the rest of Stanford’s race and gender policies.

In a revealing comment, she notes that those who want to restrict speech in heavy-handed and unconstitutional ways are motivated by the stubborn failure to close the racial gap:

The magnitude and duration of these inequalities may make them impervious to political (let alone to academic) efforts. We do not know how to solve these problems; we may not even know how to talk (or perhaps we are afraid to talk) about them. So some succumb to the allure of sideshows such as the one involving the Stanford Policy.

Given what many believe is the biological basis of these racial differencesand recent reports that the racial gap in education is not narrowing despite the No Child Left Behind law aimed at raising the scores of Blacks and Latinos, I suspect that this temptation to restrict speech will be increasingly irresistible in the future. And if Kagan is on the Supreme Court, we can certainly expect that she would vote for such restrictions. Her heart, as I am sure Obama must know, is definitely in the right place.

They say politics is the art of the possible. For Kagan, law is also the art of the possible. There are no principles. Only better or worse tactics for achieving her policy goals.

Kevin MacDonald is a professor of psychology at California State University–Long Beach.  Email him.

Small Towns, Football and Close-Knit Whites: Monolith of Evil to the New York Times

Last August, I wrote about CNN’s predictably biased coverage of the beating death of Luís Ramírez, an illegal alien in the small Pennsylvania town of Shenandoah.

The young White men prosecuted beat some of the charges, leading to yet another round of predictable media coverage.  Most stories I read began with that most ominous of phrases:  “An all-White jury…”

Of course, to a media that considers itself Atticus Finch, nothing good can ever issue from “an all-White jury.”  A Google News search reveals endless hits for “all-White jury”;  none for “all-black jury” or “all-Hispanic jury.”  Really, you needn’t read the rest of the story.  I’ll finish off the paragraph for your convenience:  “An all-White jury today ignored all evidence presented at trial and handed down an utterly racist verdict that totally affirms the incurably backward, bigoted nature of American society.”

If an “all-White jury” decided to award slavery reparations to all living blacks, it wouldn’t be “an all-White jury” — it would simply be “a jury.”  And a sensible, fair-minded one at that.

The media telegraphs a lot by using “all-White jury.”  If a few blacks or Hispanics had been on it, the media is saying, they naturally would have been able to appeal to the Whites’ better angels, and thus come back with the correct decision.

The media is barely interested in such trivialities as the burden of proof or the evidence presented at trial — otherwise, it would announce a shocking verdict by saying “despite overwhelming evidence of innocence, Tom Robinson was convicted of rape.”  Whites are presumed to be defective jurors.  And anything “all-White,” whether a barbershop quartet or local school, is of course illegitimate.  An “all-White jury” may be the most illegitimate thing going.

These presumptions guided the coverage by Ian Urbina, the New York Times reporter sent to sniff out and send up for mockery the White reaction to the verdict in Shenandoah.

Urbina goes at his task with gusto, starting off with a claim by a Hispanic student that Whites threatened him with the next beating.  It would be easy for a Hispanic student to falsify such a claim, and I wonder whether Urbina followed up with a request for the names of those White students.  Probably not — minority claims of victimization usually go unchallenged by reporters.  The claim might be true, but the New York Times would never allow a similar claim by a White to serve as the lead sentence of a story, even if it were confirmed by multiple sources.  (Later on in the story, we see that the student himself was suspended after being given “permission” by his father to respond to the Whites with violence, a scenario description that cries out for deeper questioning.)

Good Guys: The Bermejo family. The boy in the background claimed that  White students told him he would be beaten next.

Naturally, Urbina quotes Hispanic advocacy groups, but does not bother reaching out to a White advocacy group like the National Policy Institute.  He quotes a Hispanic advocacy attorney as saying that “this case is not just about what happened to Luis;  it’s about what Latinos nationally are facing.”  Needless to say, Mr. Urbina is not interested in what Whites nationally are facing, nor does he question the sense of shared racial fate felt by Hispanics.

Urbina quotes Hispanics — by name, of course (see my earlier column for a discussion of this) trumpeting that the Whites only dislike them because they represent “change” and are “different.”  They thus channel back to the reporter exactly what he believes about White attitudes toward Hispanics or illegal immigrants — kind of like a Mobius strip message circuit.  White advocates, take note:  When speaking to a reporter, it’s best to frame your message in terms of things the reporter already believes.

Urbina winds up with a sucker punch.  He quotes a White man, Ed Rolko, on his reaction to the verdict as follows:

“‘This is a tight-knit place, and everyone knows each other,’ said Mr. Rolko, adding that he, like everyone else in town, knows the defendants personally.

Asked whether he knew Mr. Ramírez, Mr. Rolko said no.” 

Bad Guy: Ed Rolko at his styling salon

It’s doubtful that any of the happy-to-talk Hispanics knew any of the White defendants, but Mr. Urbina doesn’t pose this question to them.  He’s only interested in setting up Whites like Ed Rolko as close-minded bigots.  We can safely assume this:  If Mr. Urbina had information that the Hispanics in town knew the White defendants, he would have happily put it out there — further proof of White wickedness in comparison to Hispanic friendliness.  So he either asked the question and got the same answer, or didn’t ask the question at all.

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Such is the power of a reporter to shape a story.  Ian Urbina instinctively feels that small towns, football and close-knit Whites are bad things, and he narrates accordingly.  Having moved from one much-hated career to another (journalism to law), I can testify to the dirty tricks of both.

But the law, at least, has accounted for the tendency of a particular party to shape the story to advance his interests:  the trial, with objections, cross-examinations and separate opportunities to present evidence.

Sadly for Whites, they sit in the defendant’s chair with the media as prosecutor — and no defense counsel in sight.

Christopher Donovan is the pen name of an attorney and former journalist. Email him.