When the Barriers Come Down
by Dr. William Pierce (pictured)
DURING THE ongoing impeachment and trial of Bill Clinton one of the things we hear most often from the media is that this is a historic event. If Clinton is convicted by the Senate and removed from office, it will be the first time such a thing has happened — something for the Guinness Book of Records. This led me to think about other records which are being set these days.
For example, if Clinton is removed from office and then is tried and convicted in a Federal court for perjury or obstruction of justice, he could become a member of a record-breaking US prison population. I looked at some of the figures provided by the US Census and published in various almanacs. I don’t have the very latest figures, but in 1996 there were 1,185,000 persons confined to state and Federal prisons in the United States. With a total US population in 1996 of 265 million, that’s just under half a percent of the population in prison, which is a record. And that’s not even counting another half-million inmates currently in local and county jails.
In 1930, at the beginning of the Great Depression, the total population of the United States was 123 million people, and 117,000 of those people were in state and Federal prisons. That works out to less than one-tenth of one percent of the population. In other words, in the bad, old days of chain gangs and lynchings and poverty and Al Capone and so on, we had only one-fifth as many people in prison, on a per capita basis, as we have today.
Now that is about as stark a demographic statistic as you’ll find anywhere, and it’s a very interesting statistic as well. The total population of the United States slightly more than doubled during the 66 years between 1930 and 1996, while the prison population increased by more than a factor of ten. Why? How could that have happened in this kinder and gentler age? Isn’t that contradictory to everything we’ve been taught about the country becoming more and more enlightened and with a hundred times as many so-called “entitlement” programs and job-training programs and rehabilitation programs and Head Start programs and so forth now as then? How does that square with the government’s recent claims that crime of all sorts is falling these days? Murders are down, they tell us. Robberies are down. Then why does the prison population keep increasing?
You know, a lot of scholars have studied this phenomenon and written books about it, but their aim seems to be to obscure the Politically Inconvenient facts rather than to get at a real understanding. I mean, how is an academician trying to write a book about crime and punishment to explain this amazing statistic in a Politically Correct way? In 1930 the head of the country was that arch-capitalist and enemy of the workers Herbert Hoover, who believed in locking them up and throwing away the key. Today it’s that fellow who “feels the pain” of every Black rapist, crack dealer, and welfare thug who votes Democratic. In 1930 we had mostly White juries, who did not look kindly on criminals of any sort. Today we have the O.J. Simpson trend in judicial affairs. In 1930 we had racism and apartheid. We didn’t believe in coddling criminals. We made them serve their time. So how could there possibly be more than ten times as many people behind bars today as then?
Now, I know what some of you’re thinking. You’re thinking that we have more Blacks in America now, and they make up most of the prison population. But you know, Blacks only increased from 9.7 per cent of the US population in 1930 to 13 per cent today. That by itself can’t account for the 400 per cent per capita increase in the prison population.
So, I’ll explain it for you. There has been an enormous increase in the percentage of lawbreakers in America primarily because the social institutions which used to keep antisocial activity in check have been destroyed: deliberately destroyed. And this has gone hand in hand with the growth of liberal attitudes and liberal public policies. An example: In 1930 there was a very strict policy of racial segregation almost everywhere in the United States, in the North as well as in the South. Blacks did not live in the same neighborhoods as Whites, they did not eat in the same restaurants, they did not go to the same schools, and for the most part they did not work in the same offices and shops as Whites. Blacks found loitering in White neighborhoods, even in the daytime, were subject to arrest. Blacks and Whites, in other words, did not mix socially, and so Blacks did not have much opportunity to commit crimes against Whites. Furthermore, Blacks understood that if they did commit crimes against Whites and got caught, there would be no mercy and no leniency. Punishment would be sure, swift, and severe.
Furthermore, there was no social familiarity between Blacks and Whites. Blacks of any age customarily addressed Whites as “sir” or “ma’am.” Blacks may not have loved Whites in 1930, and Whites for the most part made no pretense of loving Blacks, but Blacks did respect Whites, and Whites expected to be respected by Blacks. The net result was that far fewer crimes against Whites were committed by Blacks, and so far fewer Blacks were in prison for offenses against Whites.
Now, the really interesting thing is that under these racially segregated conditions Blacks also committed far fewer crimes against other Blacks. Why was that? Well, it was because Blacks had much more of a Black community, much more of a Black society of their own in America in 1930 than they do today. They had their own schools, with their own teachers and principals. They had their own colleges. They were not flattered or pampered or given all sorts of unrealistic expectations with the resulting frustrations. They understood their limits, what they were permitted to do and what they were not permitted to do, what was expected of them and what was not expected. And they adapted to their condition moderately well. Individual Blacks didn’t compare their condition to that of Whites and become resentful and frustrated; instead they compared their condition to that of other Blacks. Their crime rate still was far higher than the White crime rate, but it was much lower than it is today.
Then the liberals, the egalitarians, set about removing all of the limits, setting aside all of the firm rules, abolishing the barriers between the Black society and the separate White society. They told the Blacks that they didn’t have to respect or obey Whites any longer, that they were just as good as Whites, just as capable, and that they could enter White society and have everything the Whites had. I don’t have time to go into this whole process in detail, but you know much of it already. The Roosevelt administration really began the process in earnest in 1933, and then the Second World War gave the liberals a wonderful opportunity to push it much faster. Blacks were hired by the millions by defense industries during the war, uprooted from rural areas and concentrated in cities. And they were put to work in defense plants right alongside Whites and paid far more money than they ever had seen before.
There was, of course, White resistance. In February 1942, just a few weeks after the war began, White residents in Detroit responded to the government’s program of moving thousands of Blacks into the city and providing special housing for them by organizing a posse of 1,200 armed men to block the entrance to one of these Black housing projects. In June 1943 26,000 White workers at Detroit’s Packard Motor Plant went on strike to protest the hiring of Blacks for factory jobs that had belonged exclusively to Whites. The strike turned into a riot, in which 29 Blacks and 6 Whites were killed. The government sent in Federal troops to protect the Blacks. And of course, Detroit was not the only American city where the Roosevelt government’s program to break down the barriers between the Black and White societies met resistance from Whites.
The problem everywhere was that the Whites had very little effective leadership. The working-class Whites, who were most immediately threatened socially and economically by the government’s programs to integrate their neighborhoods and workplaces, were abandoned by the middle-class and upper-class Whites, conservatives as well as liberals, because the latter didn’t feel immediately threatened. Then as now, these educated and well-to-do Whites had only contempt for working-class Whites. Socioeconomic class consciousness was much stronger among them than race consciousness. It never occurred to them that one day the government would do to them what it was doing then to White workers. They were astoundingly short-sighted in this regard.
After the war, under Truman and Eisenhower and Johnson and Kennedy, the government continued breaking down the barriers, continued forcibly integrating the Black and White societies. Despite the 14th and 15th Amendments, Blacks in many parts of the South were not permitted to vote until after Lyndon Johnson’s Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the energetic use of Federal police power to enforce it. This led to a huge increase in the number of Black elected officials in the South. And of course, there was the forced racial integration of the public schools everywhere, often accompanied by bizarre programs such as forced busing for racial balance. And then there were various forced housing schemes intended to break up racially segregated neighborhoods. And there was “equal employment opportunity” — which in fact, often was racially biased hiring and promotion in favor of Blacks, under the guise of “affirmative action.” Et cetera. As I said, I don’t have time to go into a detailed record of the way in which the government broke down the separate Black and White societies and forced them together into a single multicultural society.
There was intermittent White resistance to this forced integration program — rioting in South Boston over forced school integration, rioting in Oxford, Mississippi, in 1962 when the government forced the University of Mississippi to begin admitting Black students, and so on — but remarkably less resistance than might have been expected. Again, this was due to a lack of White organization, a lack of White leadership: the affluent and educated Whites, the Whites who might have provided effective leadership, opted out of the struggle, because they did not feel threatened by the government’s integration program, and they were intimidated by the very effective Jewish television propaganda of the day, which tarred any racially conscious White person as “trailer trash.”
Blacks also rioted during the 1960s — not in opposition to the government’s programs of forced racial mixing, but because their expectations of equality were not satisfied. The government and the Jewish media and the liberals had been telling them for decades that they were just as good and just as capable and just as deserving as White people, and that they could have everything that Whites had. And when they found that most Blacks couldn’t have everything Whites had, when they discovered that a White life-style was not automatically forthcoming for them, they rioted and burned and looted on a huge scale. They burned Detroit and Newark and Los Angles and Washington and 20 other American cities in the 1960s.
The response of the government, the media, and the liberals to Black lawlessness was more of the same. The media and the liberals blamed both the Blacks’ frustration and their explosions of rage on “White racism,” and the government devised still more programs to force Blacks and Whites together. But the old social constraints on Blacks were gone. They no longer had to address White people as “sir” or “ma’am.” They no longer feared or respected White people. And, most important, they no longer compared their own attainments with those of other Blacks but with those of Whites, and the comparison infuriated them. And so Black behavior took a drastic downturn, and Blacks began filling up the prisons.
Another excellent example of the change in Black behavior which results when the constraints imposed on Blacks by Whites are removed and at the same time all the barriers between a Black society and a White society coexisting side by side are taken away, is provided by South Africa. The two principal differences between South Africa and the United States in this regard are, first, that in South Africa the Blacks are the majority race; and second, that the removal of the White constraints and of the barriers between the two societies occurred much more quickly. The results, however, have been almost exactly the same. The Black crime rate in South Africa always was much higher than the White crime rate, of course, but prior to 1994 the victims of Black criminals were nearly all Black. The White government simply didn’t tolerate Black crime against Whites, and Blacks who attacked Whites knew that they almost certainly would be caught and that when caught their punishment would be swift and very severe.
Just as in America the liberals blamed Black criminality in South Africa on White racism. It was the effect of apartheid on Blacks which frustrated them and made them strike out at their fellow Blacks, the liberals explained. It was the White man holding the Black man down; it was the White man forcing the Black man to live in crowded, dirty, and violent slums; it was the White man refusing to share his schools and his neighborhoods and his White women with the Black man which made the Black man behave in a criminal way. Take your foot off the Black man’s neck and treat him like a fellow human being, the liberals said to the White South Africans, and his behavior will improve greatly.
Well, White people are nothing if not gullible, and White South Africans are if anything even more gullible than White Americans. They listened to the liberals. They said to themselves, yes, we’re being terrible to the Blacks by making them have their own, separate society and by policing them so strictly and by not letting them go to school with us or marry our women. They felt guilty about apartheid. And so in 1994 they turned their country over to the Black majority in South Africa. They let the Blacks elect a Black government for the country. There no longer were any restrictions on where the Blacks could live. They could go to White schools and marry White women. They had Black judges and Black police officials. Apartheid was history. The White man’s foot was off the Black man’s neck.
And the Black man’s behavior suddenly became much worse than it had been before. Not only did he begin raping, robbing, and murdering Whites on an unprecedented scale, but he also began committing more crimes against his fellow Blacks than ever before. Life in the Black townships has become much more violent and dangerous than it was prior to Black rule. And Blacks in rural areas are being burned and stoned to death by their fellow Blacks on charges of witchcraft and sorcery. When the Whites were in charge they didn’t tolerate that sort of thing. But now the Blacks are in charge, and many of them are wishing the Whites were running the country again. Crime is so bad that they long for apartheid again, when they felt much safer. And they’re actually saying this in public. They’re telling this to White television reporters.
You see, the same two things changed suddenly for Blacks in South Africa in 1994 as changed for Blacks in America over a period of several decades. White control was relaxed, and Black society lost its boundaries as it was told to merge with White society. And the results were very similar: an explosion of Black criminal behavior. The liberals, of course, have an explanation for Black behavior in South Africa just as they do in the United States. It’s payback time, they say. The Blacks are still angry about having their human rights violated under apartheid, and that’s why they’re murdering White farmers and raping White women and stealing cars from White men, the liberals explain. It’s a little more difficult for them to explain why the Blacks also are killing and robbing and raping more of their own people now.
But we know the explanation, don’t we? First, without the White man’s foot on his neck, the Black man will behave in his accustomed way. Without the White man forcibly restraining him and making him fear the consequences, the Black man will do what comes naturally to him. And second, the Black man’s society, as squalid as it may seem to us, does at least serve the purpose of providing a frame of reference for Blacks. Take that frame of reference away, and there will be trouble. When Blacks are able to compare their condition, their attainments, their status with those of other Blacks, they can deal with it. When they begin comparing themselves with Whites, the result is frustration, resentment, anger, and criminal behavior.
And I also should mention that the government’s attempt to force a multicultural society in America has resulted in an increase in criminal behavior on the part of Whites also. At the same time that the Black incarceration rate has been rising, so has the White rate. I don’t have a racial breakdown for 1930, but in the decade between 1985 and 1995 the percentage of White Americans in state and Federal prisons rose from 0.12 to .23: that is from about an eighth of a per cent to a little under a quarter of a per cent. In the same decade the percentage of Blacks incarcerated increased from .74 to 1.5: from three-quarters of a per cent to one and one-half per cent. Although the percentage of Blacks in prison increased slightly faster, both the White and Black imprisonment rates nearly doubled during that one decade, with Blacks somewhat more than six times as likely as Whites to be in prison.
And I also should point out that most of the five-fold increase since 1930 in the percentage of Americans in prison has taken place since the great social and racial revolution of the 1960s which the liberals remember so fondly: the decade of pot smoking and freedom marches and sit-ins and draft card burning and trashing the dean’s office. The rise in the rate of incarceration was quite moderate between 1930 and 1970. It was in 1972 that the percentage of the American population in prison really began to skyrocket.
Today there are far more Americans in prison per capita than in any other industrialized country except Russia, and we’re neck and neck with Russia. We have nearly 11 times the incarceration rate of the Netherlands, for example.
The lesson of all this is that liberal theories about the wonders of multiculturalism and racial diversity and the horrors of segregation are one thing, but the hard, cold reality of the prison statistics is something quite different. You can force the races to mix only if you’re prepared to lock them up at more than five times the rate for separate, racially homogeneous societies.
For further reading:
The World Almanac and Book of Facts, 1933 (New York World-Telegram, 1933)
The World Almanac and Book of Facts, 1998 (World Almanac Books, 1997)
* * *