Sunday, November 18, 2007

V - Is the Establishment Reviving Eugenics?


Preface: This is the 5th of what should conclude as a 6 post series on what appears to me to be a serious effort on the part of the U.S. Establishment to re-ignite eugenic ideology and policy in the American public sphere. This post is about the pernicious long term effect of the systematic application and use of strategic capital to drive popular belief and public policy.

Once upon a time, my man Cobb constructed a race man's home companion. In it, you could find extremely useful and fairly comprehensive information resources like this handy overview of eugenic point sources in the 20th century.

Somewhere between then and now, brah'man let the sharp edge of his vigilance fall off. I can't explain it to you, and I don't expect him to either. This post isn't about him. Rather, it's about the insidious way in which conscious political discourse can be infected, manipulated and ultimately undermined by determined, well funded, and persistent partisans whose backers have taken the long view of politics. Please recall that this was my starting point for questioning the unseemly behavior of the NY Times serving as a platform for neo-eugenic propaganda.

Under the pretense of a column about the convergence of science, technology, and society - Amy Harmon gave a validating mainstream platform and broad national and international distribution to the racist pseudo-scientific blather of an anonymous racist blogger. As one knucklehead at that blog noted;
Nevertheless, she did it, and an imprimatur from the New York Times along with evidence of specific genetic differences is an immensely valuable thing for the debate. I sent the article to a lot of friends, and it really opens up the dialogue. Of course there is still some doublethink to it, but Rome wasn't built in a day. This is a major attitude shift for most people, and there is a lot of race guilt to overcome.
No one seriously expects the NY Times to function as an organ of the most regressive and racist politics in America. To hear conservative talk radio tell it, the NY Times is a left leaning organ of progressive politics, actively engaged in the defeat of "traditional" American interests. To all intents and purposes, both Amy Harmon, and the Times are above reproach. But are they?

A little over a year ago, I had a vigorous set to with Bro. Bowen when he called me out for his First Annual Internet Racist Hunt. Some of the things he wrote then remain instructive;
I basically have no patience with the theory of racism as background radiation left over from the dark ages that selectively infects whitepeople leaving everyone else on the planet unaffected. There are either specific identifiable sources of racist thought which can be objectively dealt with, or not. Basic empirical scientific method.....

I'm talking about ideological racists who are trying to exert influence over Americans as intellectuals, pundits, policy wonks and otherwise trying to literally establish racial policy in American institutions.

I don't think any of them has the political clout required to undo non-discrimination law, but some are trying and some would like to. I'm also talking about racial separatists and people who delight in speculation over racial conflict. People who are overly concerned about the survival of their race or generally see racial conflict as an inevitable biological fact. People who argue very strongly for or against race mixing, ie would like to see some race biologically destroyed.

I believe I met the challenge as he asserted it at that time. The Southern Poverty Law Center certainly indicates that I did - particularly and rather spectacularly in the case of Kevin T. Lamb (scroll down the SPLC page linked) who was a clear nexus connecting hardcore racists with mainstream conservatism. The trouble for those of us on the side of social justice and democratic ideals is that keeping track of racist and eugenic point sources backed by strategic capital to influence popular belief and political policy is a full-time job. Finding and outing these elements is the kind of tiring and thankless task that will wear you out and make you drop your guard.

I believe that that's principally what has happened with Bro. Bowen, i.e., basically he's hung up his vigilant spurs. In certain regards, I don't blame him because there are plenty enough crackpots under the Black partisan banner who forget about the human essentialist core of the undertaking. But weariness aside, it's a job that has to be done because there's entirely too much at stake. Sadly, as the exchange with David Mills bore out, many Black folks have ignorantly or uncritically internalized some deeply pernicious and profoundly unscientific beliefs and this has further compounded the difficulty of the challenge at hand. My former Vision Circle blogmate Ed Brown addressed this issue this past week.
A new Pew Research Center survey found that nearly 40 percent of Blacks think "blacks can no longer be thought of as a single race."

The phrasing of that bothers me. It's as if a "poor" Black person is considered to be a different "race" than a "not poor" Black person. It should be stated that 40% of Blacks are acknowledging class differences. Or better yet, that people are now recognizing class differences and are finally being ASKED about it.

Or maybe not. I'm still thinking... Marinading....

A “Negro” said it! - is a favorite and very effective tactic of the conservative right. It boils down to utilizing a small group of “captive negroes” to say things which otherwise would be considered racist - and to provide cover for white conservatives (”My best friend is a Negro!).

In any oppressed community it’s possible to find folks who are so psychologically damaged that they will work against the very community they come from. Whether selling heroin on street corners to neighborhood kids, or pandering the right’s need for Negroes to provide racial cover - the dynamic and morality are the same. A good article on how the conservative racist right utilizes these folks:
Bashing Black folks is a $40 -100 million industry, funded by the very same folks who fund the conservative movement. Like the enticement of “easy money” in the drug industry, negro conservatives willing to front for “the Man”, can rake in salaries and book sales in excess of $250,000 a year. Indeed, the bashing black folks industry can provide the black conservative far more media and ego polishing recognition than they are ever going to earn in their field of study through quantitative accomplishments.
Having briefly touched upon the pedigree of the silicon valley ku klux kali in installment IV of this series - I'll leave you to connect the dots between this especially noxious fat bastard - Mr. Wardell Connerly - and the bigoted backers providing him with the strategic capital to do his long term dirty work. Wardell is the deliverable work product of precisely that northern california element of the U.S. Establishment that has had us in its eugenic crosshairs for generations.

In his most recent anti Black partisan article, Cobb gave undeserved dap to Wardell as an agent of Black nationalist demise;
What's so laughable about it is that only the Socialists and the Commies, as well as throroughly mau-maued dowagers like Jane Fonda bought into this program for any reasonable duration. What a pity. It's rather pathetic to see how somebody as mediocre as Ward Connorly could absolutely devastate the black nationalist agenda by deracinating public institutions. It only goes to show how dependent black nationalists are on the welfare state. Malcolm is spinning in his grave, and you're mouthing psychobabble about prestige-dependency. Who's really the dependent one?
Connerly is not an agent of anybody's political demise, he's an instrument of a much larger institutional agenda systematically carried out over an extended period of time. Absent a clear understanding of the immense strategic capital afforded this icon of Black disenfranchisement - Cobb asserts that a lowly mediocrity has taken out both Affirmative Action and "the" Black nationalist agenda - without any consideration given to the sustained, long-term, generous backing of explicitly racist elements of the U.S. Establishment. No political statement could be further from the truth. Wardell was not the architect of the process most closely identified with him, rather, he is simply the very handsomely compensated mouthpiece for this process, providing it with indispensible memetic camoflauge...,

Much “mainstream” racism is funded by 4 Foundations – variously called the “4 Sisters”.

Wardell Connerly gets his grip from these folks;

• Scaife Family Foundations

The Scaife Family Foundations. Sarah Scaife, Carthage and Allegheny are funded by industrial tycoon Richard Mellon Scaife, who inherited $200 million from his mother in the 1960s. He was a presidential appointment of the U.S. Advisory Commission for Public Diplomacy during the Reagan and first Bush administrations.

Scaife gave former U.S. attorney general Edwin Meese $1.9 million to start PLF. Between 1985 and 2005, Scaife gave more than $4.5 million to PLF. He is the primary supporter of the Heritage Foundation, of which he is a trustee and Meese a former staff member. Many Heritage Foundation staff members held or hold high-ranking federal positions, including current Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao and former U.S. Civil Rights Commission (UCCR) staff director and Manhattan Institute fellow Linda Chavez, founder of the right-wing Center for Equal Opportunity (CEO).

Scaife funds Connerly’s ACRI, Chavez’s CEO, and the Center for Individual Rights, which together comprise the triumvirate leading the campaign to end affirmative action. Other major grant recipients include the National Association of Scholars, co-author of Prop. 209, which banned affirmative action in California, and the Manhattan Institute for Public Policy Research. UCCR Vice Chair Abigail Thernstrom, a Manhattan Institute senior fellow, is on the board of the Equal Opportunity Foundation, which directs funding for CEO.

• Castle Rock Foundation

Coors Brewing Co.’s support for anti-gay groups led to a 10-year boycott led by AFL-CIO in 1977. Pressured to reform, Coors began funding black and Latino groups through the Adolph Coors Foundation and became one of the first companies to offer domestic-partner benefits to employees in 1995. In 1993, the Coors family created Castle Rock to separate the Coors name from its conservative agenda. The Castle Rock and Adolph Coors Foundations have the same board of directors, the same staff and the same address.

Coors co-owner Joseph Coors founded and financed the conservative Heritage Foundation, which later received most of its support from Richard Mellon Scaife. Coors was a Heritage trustee until March 2003. Ambassador Holland Coors, President Reagan’s appointment to the National Year of the Americas, has been on the board since 1998. Major grant recipients include the Heritage Foundation, the National Association of Scholars and the Institute for Justice, which was founded by anti-affirmative-action leader Clint Bolick, a disciple of ultraconservative U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Castle Rock gave PLF $340,000 between 1985 and 2005. Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF), a right-wing legal advocacy group founded in 1973, represents the Seattle parents in the recent Supreme Court case eliminating even voluntary integration. In 2001, PLF represented Ward Connerly’s American Civil Rights Institute (ACRI) and provided pro-bono counsel to then Calif. Gov. Pete Wilson in a successful effort to expand the scope of Prop. 209, which banned affirmative action in public education, employment and contracting.

• Olin Foundation

The New York-based John M. Olin Foundation grew out of a family-owned chemical and munitions manufacturing business. The foundation, which dissolved in 2005, was charged with spending all assets within a generation of Olin’s death, lest its mission be altered. Grant recipients included CEO, the Heritage Foundation, the National Association of Scholars and the Manhattan Institute. Specifically, Olin funded the research of CEO founder Linda Chavez and former Secretary of Education William Bennett.

When former Olin Foundation President Michael Joyce left to run the Bradley Foundation, William Simon, who was secretary of the treasury for Nixon and Ford, took over. Joyce had worked under Simon at a neoconservative think-tank prior to joining Olin, and it was Simon who asked him to take the helm at Bradley. Olin gave PLF $669,000 between 1985 and 2005.

• Bradley Foundation

The Allen-Bradley Company, a manufacturer of electronic and radio equipment, was one of the last major Milwaukee-based companies to racially integrate, which it did only under legal pressure. In 1968, the company had 7,000 employees, only 32 of whom were black and 14 Latino. When the Allen-Bradley company was sold in 1985, the name of the foundation was changed to the Lynne and Harry Bradley Foundation to separate the company name from its conservative cause.

Bradley is the principal supporter of Connerly’s ACRI. ACRI co-chair Thomas Rhodes is on the Bradley board of directors. Bradley Foundation President Michael Joyce, formerly with the Olin Foundation, served on President Reagan’s transition team and other presidential commissions and worked closely with William Bennett prior to his appointment as Secretary of Education.

The foundation gives to the Institute for Justice, where founder Clint Bolick drafted a federal bill to eliminate affirmative action. Other major grant recipients include the Heritage Foundation, the National Association of Scholars and the American Enterprise Institute, a literary outlet for conservative thinkers such as William Bennett and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who will take part in deciding the Seattle case this December. Bradley gave PLF $327,000 between 1985 and 2005.

Attacks from eugenically minded, conservative instruments play on a few basic themes:

Black Dysfunctionality - That black folks are less intelligent, perform worse on tests, have lower educational indicators, commit more crime, etc. Where numbers don’t exist to support the premise, they make them up, and/or selectively parse data to support their points.

Here are the principal funders of eugenic racism actively operating at the convergence of science, technology, and society. In the last installment, I'll address myself to some of the leading "scientific" instruments working in support of this cause.