Americans have grown fond of celebrating anniversaries of one kind or another. I first noticed this new habit during the national thrombosis over the Statue of Liberty back in 1986, but more recently the habit has swollen into something like an epidemic. In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, we have endured the anniversaries of the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the birth of Thomas Jefferson, the Bolshevik Revolution, the Munich Accord of 1958, the attack on Pearl Harbor, the emancipation of Negro slaves, the assassination of John Kennedy, the liberation of Dachau, and every stage, factual or fictitious, in the life and career of Martin Luther King, Jr., not to mention a number of other events of equally galactic significance that just happen to elude my memory. The reason for the rigorous observance of these commemorative occasions ought to be clear to those Americans who have even the dimmest glimmer of what is going on in their country today. Anniversaries, like national holidays, provide excellent opportunities to subvert the meanings of historic events as understood by a particular culture and to substitute other meanings of those same events as understood and preferred by the exponents of a rival culture.
This month we will observe yet another anniversary, that of the Brown v. The Board of Education decision that Earl Warren and a unanimous Supreme Court handed down to an unsuspecting nation exactly 40 years ago. The Brown decision, of course, marked the beginning of that extended political, cultural, and racial revolution that has come to be known to its adherents as the “civil rights movement,” and for all the genuflections to Rosa Parks and “Dr.” King that are popular and even obligatory today, the forces that really allowed the movement and the revolution to succeed were: the Warren Court, which issued the decision; the Eisenhower administration, which enforced it with federal troops in Little Rock; and a Southern white population that, when confronted with real soldiers in the streets, rather quickly muted its braggadocio about “white supremacy” and the heritage of Lee and Jackson and did what it was instructed to do. Since the movement and its adherents have today everywhere triumphed, the meaning that will be imposed on the anniversary of the Brown decision will be the meaning of those victors, and it most definitely will not be the meaning of those Americans who dissented from the decision and the revolution that ensued from it but who preferred a comfortable and convenient silence to any serious resistance.
Obviously, in the course of observing its anniversary. Brown will be hailed as the ruling that struck down school segregation laws as unconstitutional and that paved the way for the racial integration that the nation so amicably enjoys today. The irony of this interpretation is that racial integration as the architects of the Brown decision claimed to understand it and to promote it is virtually nonexistent in the United States today. As Jared Taylor wrote in a survey of racial integration last year, “The attempt to integrate public elementary and high schools has been a fiasco. All across the country the attempt followed the same pattern: once the number of non-whites reached a certain level, standards collapsed and whites moved to the suburbs. During the past 25 years, most big-city public schools lost nearly all their white students. In Atlanta their percentage went from 41 percent to 7 percent, in New Orleans from 34 percent to 8 percent, in Detroit from 41 percent to 9 percent, in Los Angeles from 55 percent to 16 percent. . . . Today, two thirds of all black children go to schools that are predominantly non-white.”
Of course, the United States today is a racially integrated society, but it has not been integrated by means publicly advocated by the architects of Brown (or indeed of the “civil rights movement”)—the simple removal of racial segregation from public laws, to be followed by the voluntary and harmonious social mixture of the races. Racial integration has come about, quite simply, because of force—because of forced busing imposed by unelected judge and bureaucrat with federal troops at his back; because of affirmative action laws and policies that most Americans do not want and do not believe in; because of threats (not infrequently carried out) of prosecutions, law suits, boycotts, and other instruments of intimidation directed against restaurants, hotels, companies, and other private institutions that fail to meet the demands of integrationists; and because of a massive and continuous inundation of propaganda in every conceivable form and over every conceivable medium of communication to enforce racial right-think and punish and scorn racial wrong-think.
The Brown decision, then, cannot accurately be interpreted as the triumph of “freedom” over “force.” At best, it can be seen as the triumph of one level of force (federal) for one purpose (racial integration) over a lesser level of force (state and local) for another purpose (racial segregation). But since the federal level of force has had to be applied strenuously and consistently to induce even minimal racial integration in places where no force at all prevented it, a more accurate interpretation of Brown and the “movement” for which it was the official signal and sanction would be that it actually achieved the opposite of increasing freedom, that it succeeded only in replacing what often was free and noncoercive (segregated) association with unfree and forced (integrated) association.
Defenders of Brown today generally do not shrink from just this interpretation of it, though it is directU contrary to the original intent, if you will, of the case and those who crafted it. But Brown itself, of course, largely rejected the whole concept of “original intent” jurisprudence, and that rejection should have been a warning to those who supported the Court’s decision: those who thought it applied only to Southern Jim Crow statutes and not to such things as quotas that exclude their sons from law and medical schools. Since the Court rejected the rule of “original intent” in the one case, why should anyone have expected it or other courts to respect that rule in other eases where its application might offer inconvenient obstacles to the desired results?
The only feasible moral defense of the Brown decision today is not that it replaced force with freedom but that it replaced one kind of free but morally inferior conduct (segregation) with unfree but morally superior conduct (integration). That defense is also preposterous on its face, if only because conduct that is unfree and forced cannot be morally better than conduct that is freely chosen and unforced, but its preposterousness does not mean that it is not seriously believed. Indeed, in one form or another, it seems to be the standard defense of the Brown decision (and in a larger sense of all subsequent “civil rights” laws and policies) through the unexamined (or perhaps all too well examined) premise that racial integration, no matter why or how it is achieved, is preferable to racial segregation, even if the racial segregation is voluntary on the part of both races. But of course this premise needs some qualification; it is not to be taken to mean that nonwhites must integrate when they don’t want to. As Jared Taylor has also pointed out, it is entirely permissible for nonwhites to retain racially reserved jobs and positions, racially exclusive schools, clubs, and universities, and racially discriminatory language and conduct; only nonwhites are permitted to question the desirability of racial integration at all. Sometimes this sort of thing—”double standards,” “reverse discrimination,” or “Afro-racism”—is deplored by those racial liberals who, like earlier liberals, actually thought you could make their toy train of egalitarianism stop at whatever stations you wanted, but more often even the whining of dispirited and disenchanted liberals is drowned out by those who now disclose the real meaning of Brown and the revolution it ignited.
The meaning of the revolution has long been perfectly clear. The revolution consists of what Lothrop Stoddard, the American racist writer of the 1920’s, called in the franker language of that era “The Rising Tide of Color against White World Supremacy.” Regardless of the alarmist connotations of Stoddard’s phrase, it ought to be fairly obvious today that the cognitive content of the expression is unexceptionable. You may be for or against “white supremacy” or a “rising tide of color” and you may think either or both of them good, bad, or as morally meaningless as the death of grasshoppers at the end of the summer, but there is not much doubt, not only in the United States in the 70 years or so since Stoddard wrote but also throughout the world, that “white supremacy” has been displaced and that the beneficiaries of that racial displacement have been largely nonwhites or “people of color,” This development should not be surprising to anyone who is aware of global demographic trends, let alone to anyone who has paid attention to the fate of the European colonies from the British withdrawal from India to the recent election in South Africa.
Of course, it is surprising to many and remains shocking to talk about openly, because the superstitions of liberalism and egalitarianism lead those who believe in them to expect the sequel of white supremacy to be racial equality and not just domination by a different race. Yet historian William H. McNeill argues in a set of lectures delivered in 1985 that what he calls “ethnic hierarchy” is “on the rise, everywhere,” and that it is indeed the normal condition of human civilizations. “Other civilized societies have almost always accepted and enforced inequality among the diverse ethnic groups of which they were composed,” he writes. McNeill’s term “ethnic hierarchy,” of course, consists of words derived from Greek; if those words are loosely (but not too loosely) translated into their Latin equivalents, it is fairly clear that McNeill is saying that racial domination, in one form or another, is the norm of human civilizations, that ethnic and racial equality has little historical foundation, and that the illusion of such equality is about to be rudely dispelled.
It is already being dispelled, at least for some white Americans. Last summer, the Newhouse News Service published the results of a multistate survey conducted for it by the Population Studies Center at the University of Michigan on the effects of immigration into the United States on “white flight” from regions within it. The survey found that while “two-thirds of all new immigrants poured into just seven states,” the “non-Hispanic whites in those states are fleeing to places largely untouched by immigration,” Between 1985 and 1990, “New York lost more than a half-million whites in its exchanges with other states; Texas and Illinois more than a quarter-million; New Jersey nearly 200,000, and Massachusetts 114,000.” California “experienced an exodus of struggling middle- and working-class whites, nearly 100,000 households,” What used to occur at the local level of city and suburb, because of the impact of the Brown decision on school districts, is now beginning to happen at the state level because of the combined impact of nonwhite immigration into the United States and the legal, political, and cultural legacy of Brown. What is happening, in short, is “white flight” from entire states as their white populations are displaced by nonwhites pushing into their territories. When the “white flight” from European colonies took place in earlier decades, the whites flew to Europe and the United States, Since Americans at least are already flying to the interior of their own country, it’s not clear to what other nations future waves of white flighters will fly, any more than it is clear where the South African whites who have now (with U.S. help) lost their country will go.
The real meaning of the Brown decision, and of the subsequent history of the “civil rights movement,” is not that it caused or initiated Stoddard’s “Rising Tide of Color.” In Stoddard’s view, the “revolution” had begun some decades earlier. What events like Brown accomplished was to confirm that certain white elites were on the side of the revolution, that the Warren Court, the Eisenhower (as well as the later Kennedy and Johnson) administration, and eventually the whole established political, economic, and cultural leadership of the nation were supportive of the dethronement of whites as the dominant group in the United States. No doubt many in these elites actually believed their own egalitarian claims, though almost none of them believed in them so strongly that they practiced racial integration in the choice of their own places of residence or in the education of their own children. But whatever their motives, the result of their official endorsement in the Brown decision of a revolution against their own people and civilization has been and promises to be the displacement of that people as the dominant political and cultural core of the nation and the enthronement of other and increasingly hostile racial and ethnic strains in their place. Whether this is an anniversary of something you want to celebrate is another matter, but at least you should understand exactly what it is you are observing and being made to observe by the new rulers of what used to be your nation.