about for a place to emigrate, get a copyrnof NZ’s Self-Assessment Guide for residency.rnAcceptance for residency is basedrnon a points system which considers educationrn(12 years of schooling equals twornpoints, for example, postgraduate degree,rn15), work experience, age, and otherrnsettlement factors. One must have atrnleast 21 points under what is termed thernGeneral Category. There is also a BusinessrnCategory requiring an investmentrnof between $500,000 to $750,000 (NZ).rnAnd you must be able to read and conversernin English. Obviously we in thernUnited States could learn somethingrnabout immigration from New Zealand.rnDo people slip through the cracks? Yes,rnbut nothing like through the sieve we insistrnon calling our national borders. Withrnany place in New Zealand never morernthan 70 miles from the sea and clearrnmountain streams abounding, the countryrnshould certainly be on your list for arnwinter visit or for the bigger step of emigration.rnWilliam Mills is a novelist and poetrnwhose latest work of fiction is Propertiesrnof Blood (University of Arkansas Press).rnLetter FromrnNew York Cityrnby Nicholas StixrnCrime StoriesrnAccording to former New York PolicernCommissioner William Bratton, NewrnYork City is safer than it has been inrnyears. And if you believe that, I’ve got arngreat deal for you, on a slightly usedrnbridge.rnLast December, the NYPD announcedrnthat violent felonies hadrndropped 17.2 percent for the previous 12rnmonths, their biggest drop in 23 years.rnMurder, robbery, and assault went downrn26 percent, 18 percent, and 10 percent,rnrespectively, while rape somehow wentrndown only five percent. (Clouding thernissue even more. Board of Educationrnspokeswoman Lena Kim told me lastrnFebruary 21 that city schools had recordedrna 16 percent increase in violent crimernduring the 1994-95 school year.)rnLast December also saw two massacres.rnTelling the black customers of arnJewish-owned, Harlem clothing storernunder “boycott” to leave, Roland Smithrn(a/k/a Abubunde Mulocko) then set arnblaze which killed seven employees andrnhimself. That the dead were all “personsrnof color,” while three survivors whomrnSmith/Mulocko had shot were white,rnoutraged his conspiracy-sniffing supporters.rnAnd in a botched robbery of arnNorth Bronx shoe store, drug dealerrnMichael Vernon shot five people torndeath. (Citing “confidentiality,” thernHousing Authority covered up much ofrnVernon’s violent past. Despite Vernon’srnremorseless confession to the massacre,rnand to having killed two cabbies in 1990rnand 1993, Bronx District AttorneyrnRobert Johnson immediately decidedrnagainst seeking the death penalty; it wasrnJohnson’s refusal to seek the deathrnpenalty in the March shooting of a whiternpolice officer by a Dominican thug thatrnled Governor Pataki to remove the D.A.,rna controversial act that will doubtless endrnup m court.) More typically, lastrnSeptember 22 in Lower Manhattan, arnMutt-and-Jeff team of “Crooklyn boys”rntried to mug me, the only white on a fullrnA train. “Manhattan makes it, Crooklynrntakes it.”rnAll of the above assailants were blackrnmen.rnThings weren’t always so bad. Whilernvisiting my sister during the small hoursrnon Manhattan’s Lower East Side in thernlate 1970’s, nobody even looked at mernfunny. In 1990, an octogenarian lawyerrntold me of the long, romantic walks hernand his wife had taken from Manhattanrnto Brooklyn on Depression-era Saturdayrnnights, without being accosted.rnToday, some prosperous New Yorkersrnhand over their money on the street tornblack males on demand, as a black manrndid in Brooklyn’s affluent Park Slope arearnlast January 20, without being touchedrnor even threatened. The declarations ofrnmiddle-class mugging victims—”ThankrnGod, I’m alive.” “They can take myrnmoney”—are music to any potential robber’srnears. Well, they can’t have mine.rnWhen black pundits and politiciansrnare not affirming images of violentrn”black males,” they are accusing whitesrnof racism for believing them. In fact,rnmost middle-class blacks are also terrifiedrnof young black males. Educatedrncivilians and journalists of all colors reflexivelyrnnote the “rule” about not lookingrn”anyone” (i.e., black males) in therneye. However, the times that I have gottenrnhurt—all since 1991—were almostrnalways when I did not stare down a criminal.rn(Subway muggers will rarely undertakernanything without first landing arnsucker punch, or otherwise getting therndrop on a mark.) Playing on white fears,rneven black male noncombatants harassrnwhites. Calling their bluff enrages them,rnwhereupon they hope aloud for assistancernfrom real “mopes” (cop talk forrncriminals).rnStrangers bond or split over crime stories.rnArresting two would-be robbersrnwhile off-duty in Brooklyn, a white coprnsaw his attackers cop pleas to misdemeanorsrnand do two days of communityrnservice. A black mother from Far Rockawayrncomplains that the police refusedrnto arrest the 17-year-old black girl whornhad slashed her daughter’s chest. Working-rnclass, black female “subway buddies”rntell of unreported muggings. Yet middleclassrnblack women I meet deny they arernin any danger, and defend the black menrnwho routinely attack black women as thernvictims of racist police.rnExpressing upper-middle-class whites’rndesperate hope for appeasement, thernNew York Times portrayed Smith/Mulockornas a man of principle, the HarlemrnMassacre as born of economics, notrnracism, and has misreported stories, in itsrnsearch for violent crimes it could attributernto whites.rnOften marked by “shank”-scarredrnfaces and arms, and sporting jailhousernmuscles, the black, and increasinglyrnAmerican-born “New Yorican” and “Dominicanyork”rncriminals in question werernusually raised by mothers who neitherrnwed nor worked. Of 7.5-8 million NewrnYorkers, 1.4 million are on the dole, includingrn300,000 whom democratic socialistrnMayor David N. Dinkins (1990-rn1994) moved onto generous, federallyrnfunded “supplemental security income,”rnin cooking the books for the 1993 election.rnSeeking to lure business back to therncity, Mayor Dinkins’ police commissioners,rnLee Brown and Raymond Kelly, beganrnreporting crime “creatively,” even byrnNew York standards. Liberal RepublicanrnMayor Rudolph Giuliani’s former commissioner,rnWilliam Bratton, has evidentlyrncontinued this practice. Last Octoberrn11, the Daily News published a memo byrnDeputy Inspector Anthony Kissik, commanderrnof The Bronx’ 50th Precinct,rnwhich merely formalized the city’s unwrittenrnpolicy of “defining down” manyrnAUGUST 1996/39rnrnrn