THE UNDERCLASS &
by: S.R. Shearer
"Laissez faire, economic Darwinism" and "survival of the richest!" In their alliance with the "fat cats" of the Republican Party, the Religious Right somewhere along the line has forgotten about the Sermon on the Mount & Christ's concern for the poor. In allowing themselves to be sedduced by people like Tim LaHaye and Pat Robertson, Christians may very well end up on the wrong side of the up-coming "Civilization War" - thereby destroying Christianity's "universalism" and making it merely a "white man's religion."
"LORD OF THE FLIES" WRIT LARGE
To most white, middle-class evangelicals, the "underclass"
is a topic little understood or appreciated. Most tend to think if it
as a "black" or "brown" phenomenon limited mainly
to the African-American or Latino ghettos of the inner city, a condition
which conjures up thoughts of poverty, hopelessness, single mothers,
drugs, gangs, guns, etc. - a phenomenon having little or nothing to
do with them.
But evangelicals had better think again! The Wall Street Journal,
says that the phenomenon is spreading rapidly into white areas, bringing
with it the same social and cultural dislocation that has already encompassed
large segments of the inner city black and Latino communities.
The Journal claims that it is "... Lord of
the Flies writ large!" - communities ruled over by
young unattached males who embrace "... the values of unsocialized
... adolescents ... i.e., physical violence, immediate gratification
and predatory sex" - a "warrior culture" dominated
by brutality and savagery; a kind of dark and foreboding civilization
unheard of in the "Christian West" since the days of the Vikings
and the Mongol hoards; a society which openly and unashamedly devalues
women, children, work and education. And criminologists are predicting
that this phenomenon will only continue to expand in the decade to come,
producing even more street-wise, battle-hardened, unemployed males who
are desensitized to violence and grief, an underclass which - though
hidden from the view of many middle-class surbanites as they speed to
work over a network of freeways which conveniently bypasses its menacing
communities - has, nonetheless, enormous implications for the nations
Reporting on conditions in communities dominated by this new "warrior
class" of young, single men, Tom Morganthau of Newsweek writes,
"... (it) is a vast residential cage in which most of the population
is held prisoner ... To ride through ... (it) on a busy Saturday night
is to watch the real-life version of Blade Runner. The cops rush
back and forth in their black-and-whites, sirens blaring, while helicopters
clatter through the night sky to pinpoint the sources of intermittent
gunfire with their searchlights. Law-abiding citizens cower behind locked
doors and barred windows, fearful of going outside ..." Morganthau
goes on to stress that whats going on here - and in South Dallas,
South Philadelphia, the Bronx, etc. - has virtually everyone scared.
"These areas," says Wellesley College political scientist,
Wilber Rich, "are reverting to a state of (animalistic) nature
in the ... Hobbesian sense. The social contract is breaking down and
the war of all against all has clearly begun." This is the
world that set Los Angeles aflame in the spring of 1992: a time bomb
that is also ready to explode in every other major city in the United
ORIGIN OF THE UNDERCLASS: LACK OF JOBS
contrary to the thinking of most evangelicals, evidence indicates that
its not so much a dearth of "family values" which has
produced the underclass as it is a new kind of urban poverty
characterized by its intractability, ghetto phenomenon and - most importantly
- its link to unattached males. Whats more, thanks to
the medium of television, unlike the poor in the past, the urban poor
of today know theyre poor! - theyre constantly bombarded
with television images reminding them of their poverty and what they
are missing out on.
Jobs, even the most menial, are simply unavailable in the ghettos of
the underclass - and public transportation to areas where they do exist
is sorely lacking. Welfare, while available to unwed females with children,
does not exist for males - making males financially unnecessary to the
family structure of the urban poor. Moreover, the marginalization of
males in the ghetto is made all the worse by "female empowerment"
and "affirmative action" programs which give gender preference
to women over men - even among blacks and Latinos, in jobs, especially
in public sector jobs. Indeed, black and Latino (and even Asian) women
are often referred to as "two-fers" in the arcane parlance
of affirmative action, meaning that they count twice in the extraordinarily
complicated world of racial and gender preferences - once for being
black or Latino (or Asian) and once for being a woman.
What all this has created in the underclass is a culture where men
have not only been economically marginalized, but in fact have been
made financially dependent on women; and the rage that this has
led to among them is being greatly underestimated by feminists and their
liberal elite allies. Indeed, there are some conservative sociologists
who claim that it is precisely this rage which has led to the growing
abuse of women by men in the black and Latino (and even in the white
and Asian) ghettos - a rage made only worse when men are jailed for
Increasingly, males in the underclass are perceiving a situation where
the welfare system, gender preferences, and the police are all arrayed
against them in a kind of conspiracy which has left them not only marginalized,
but totally powerless.
MALES OPTING OUT IN
For these reasons, growing numbers of ghetto males have simply opted
out of the "system!" Theyve created their own culture
- a culture which owes nothing to women, children, traditional families
and the mores of the larger culture. "It (i.e., the new "warrior
culture" of the ghetto males) is a cold world indeed," writes
Don Terry of the New York Times, after visiting Chicagos
South Side. "Most of the gangs (which dominate Chicagos South
Side), whether the Black Disciples (a black gang), the Latin Kings (a
Hispanic gang) or the Simon City Royals (a white gang) live and die
basically by the same set of dos and donts," writes
Terry. He continues, "Mama may listen to a sad story ... but the
gangs enforcer doesnt want to hear it. No matter whether
it was the police who took the dope or a holdup man with a .357, nobody
messes with the gangs money, rules or reputation. Nobody!"
On paper, at least, the new "warrior culture" is well organized.
Police report, for example, that Chicagos Black Disciples are
arranged in "sets" throughout Chicagos South and West
Sides - and they number in the tens of thousands. Terry relates that
the gang uses flow charts depicting channels of responsibility, rules,
myths, prayers, secret handshakes, weekly meetings, dues and fancy titles
for the leaders, many of whom are well into their 40s and celebrating
birthdays in prison. Nancy R. Gibbs of Time Magazine confirms
Terrys findings. She adds, "There is plenty of work for everyone:
car theft, drug running, prostitution, extortion, credit-card fraud."
 The more violent you are," says Sgt. Matt Brandon of the public
housing police, "the higher up in the gang you go." Gibbs
reports, moreover, that the only way out of these gangs is feet first.
JOBS VS. "FAMILY VALUES"
Evangelicals tend to look at all this and blame the violence and brutality
rampant in the underclass on the lack of "family values."
But they are being quite naive and not a little disingenuous in doing
The plain fact of the matter is that its very simplistic - and
somewhat convenient - for white, middle-class evangelicals to blame
the existence of the underclass - at least in the first instance
- on a dearth of "family values." Indeed, most evangelicals
might be surprised to learn that many of the unwed mothers and brutish
males which populate the black ghettos today are the offspring of the
deeply religious black families which dominated black culture not more
than thirty years ago - a fact easily discernible to anyone who
has taken the time to talk with some of the grandmothers and great grandmothers
who today labor tirelessly and selflessly to raise the children of their
cracked-crazed daughters and granddaughters.
All this to say that white evangelicals would do well to note this
fact - it indicates clearly that the same pathology which has destroyed
black children may be just as capable of destroying their own children
should poverty overcome them - a fact which Daniel Patrick Moynihan
has unearthed in his own extensive studies of the phenomenon.
No, its the lack of jobs - especially jobs for males -
and the resultant poverty and aimlessness that this deficiency has created
which, in the first instance, has created todays underclass. William
Julius Wilson, a leading expert on urban poverty and a professor at
the University of Chicago, writes: "In 1950, in the three poorest
black neighborhoods of Chicagos South Side, there were 70 employed
men for every 100 women aged 16 and over. That was close to the citywide
figure of 74 working men to every 100 women. By 1980, that figure for
Chicagos poorest black communities had plummeted to an average
of 23 working men for every 100 women inhabitants. Thirty and forty
years ago the overwhelming majority of black males were working. Most
of them were poor, but they held regular jobs around which their daily
family life was organized ... The most fundamental change is that many
poor black neighborhoods today are no longer organized around work.
A majority of ... (black men) in inner-city ghettos are ... unemployed
... Consequently, their lives are divorced from the rhythm and reality
of the American mainstream ... In the absence of ... (work) an alternative
subculture has emerged, a kind of lost generation ..."
Wilson warns that these unattached men are precisely the kind of men
who burned down Los Angeles in 1992; he continues, "... they are
the vanguard of a (new type) of urban violence ... the volatile tinder
for the social explosion waiting to happen in Americas (other)
A recent Census Bureau Report which zeroes in on one of the prime indicators
which conservatives use to measure the "breakdown of family values"
- specifically, the increase of single-parent families - confirms the
fact that its the lack of jobs more than the lack of "family
values" which is responsible - again, in the first instance - for
the creation of Americas new underclass. The report indicates
that single-parent families result not so much from the breakdown of
"family values" per se as it does from poverty, and
the enormous stress which poverty imposes on intact, traditional families.
Donald J. Hernandez, the demographer at the Census Bureau responsible
for the study, says, "Over the last decade or two, there has been
a lot of emphasis on the rise of one-parent families as a cause of poverty.
But this report shows that the opposite process is ... true." Hernandez
goes on, "When you look at one-year transitions into poverty, most
of them are associated with job losses and income reductions, not
with major changes in family structure, such as the breakup of two-parent
families." The study continues, "Poor two-parent families
were about twice as likely to breakup as were two-parent families not
in poverty." The report concludes that the "stresses arising
from low income and poverty" appear to contribute very substantially
to the breakup of families - especially when the husband is out of work.
EXTENT OF THE UNDERCLASS
What all this indicates is that poverty is the necessary
precursor or forerunner to the development of the underclass: that
where one finds poverty, one is likely to find the underclass, or at
least a community (or a family) that is transitioning in that direction.
If this is so, then it behooves us to gauge the exact extent of U.S.
poverty - specifically that kind of poverty which results from the
lack of jobs - because in doing so, we will get a better idea of
just how widespread the underclass is, or at least what the limits of
its expansion are, which in turn will serve as a measure for the cultural
(perhaps the better word is "criminal") dislocation the country
will ultimately have to face.
The federal government claims that about 14 percent of the countrys
population - 35.7 million people, up 4.2 million since 1989 - are living
in poverty. But those figures are based on the governments own
definition of what constitutes poverty - and that definition is decidedly
and admittedly outdated and even flawed. More realistic estimates
of poverty dwarf the official figures, underscoring what liberals have
rightly called "the absurdity and massive contradiction
of immense (and growing) poverty in the worlds richest nation"
and indicating the enormity of the pathology or process behind the development
of todays underclass.
Just how far off are the official figures which measure U.S. poverty?
- theyre off by a long way!
The official income level the government uses in establishing the line
separating those the government calls poor from those who are not is
based on a 1955 study showing that an average family had to spend three
times its food budget to cover all "other costs" of survival,
and a 1961 study of the nutritional requirements to sustain a human
being. Today it takes five times a familys food budget
to cover so-called "other costs," and recent scientific studies
have found that the 1961 guide to a human beings nutritional requirements
was sorely lacking. Studies taking both factors into account report
that the poverty line should be more accurately pegged at around $21,400
for a family of four (which would require a $10.28 an hour wage for
the family breadwinner), rather than at the $13,924 figure it was
officially set at last year ($6.69 an hour).
A recent commentary carried in the Knight-Ridder newspapers by John
E. Schwartz and Thomas J. Volgy, authors of The Forgotten American,
makes a similar point. Schwartz and Volgy write, "When the government
adopted the poverty-line measure in the mid-1960s, it defined poverty
as the smallest amount of income required to afford basic necessities
at the lowest level of living of an average family, purchased at the
lowest realistic cost."
The article points out that to accommodate for annual inflation, the
government originally adjusted the poverty line once a year by applying
a formula, called the Orshansky formula - named after the Social
Security Administration bureaucrat who came up with it. The article
notes, however, that in the mid-60s the government "dumped"
the Orshansky formula, choosing instead to peg the poverty line to the
consumer price index (CPI). And the reason for dumping it? - the formula
was beginning to show that poverty was increasing in the United States
rather than decreasing, a fact embarrassing to both Democrats and Republicans
- especially in light of LBJs War on Poverty which the Nixon Administration
later also embraced.
Using the CPI produced a far more politically acceptable result, since
it tended to reflect a poverty rate which - though continuing to rise
- was increasing at a rate far less rapid than the rate which would
have been obtained had the government kept using the Orshansky formula.
The problem in using the CPI, however, is that inflation for basic necessities
(i.e., housing, transportation, food, utilities, etc.) has increased
far faster than the index of all consumer goods - producing thereby
a skewed result for those falling below median income levels. Had the
original Orshansky formula been kept, the poverty line today - as already
indicated - would have been over $21,400, more than 60 percent higher
than the official figure - and just $1,600 short of the nations
average family income of $23,000 a year.
Schwartz and Volgy rightly describe even this higher figure as "extremely
frugal:" "It allots no spending money for children, none to
hire baby sitters or for child care, to buy books, toys or records for
the children, or for school field trips, a family pet, or even a haircut."
They note that even after discarding such "so-called frills ...
families living on this budget dont have enough for all the necessities."
Eighty percent cant really afford the cost of their shelter; many
must forgo medical and dental care - often because those at this income
level dont have medical or dental insurance; many have no food
at the end of the month and are forced to keep heat at temperatures
which are too low during the winter, etc.
The fact of the matter is, today nearly 60 million Americans - more
than a fourth of the whole population - would be defined as poor by
the Orshansky formula, though the current CPI-linked formula puts the
number at a "mere" 36 million. While the figures on the poor
generated by applying the Orshansky formula (60 million) are bad enough,
even they dont reflect the true extent of poverty and economic
insecurity in the United States. For tens of millions of other Americans
(especially those that fall between the $21,400 level and the $23,000
level), conditions are barely any better, with poverty only a paycheck
or two away. What does all this mean? - it means that there exists the
very real possibility that the same pathology which has so profoundly
changed inner-city communities like South Central Los Angeles is in
the process of encompassing one-quarter of the nations population
- not only black and Latino communities, but white communities as well.
THE GROWING WHITE UNDERCLASS
The Wall Street Journal reports, "In raw numbers, European-American
whites are the ethnic group with the most people in poverty, the most
illegitimate children, the most women on welfare, the most unemployed
men, and the most serious crime. And yet whites have not had an underclass
as such, because the whites who might qualify have been scattered among
the working class. Instead, whites have had white trash
concentrated in a few streets on the outskirts of town, sometimes a
Skid Row of unattached white men in the large cities. But these scatterings
have seldom been large enough to make up a neighborhood (or a community).
An underclass needs a critical mass, and white America has not had one."
But as poverty continues to spread in lower income white neighborhoods,
criti-cal mass will begin to form - with all its attendant abnormalities.
The Wall Street Journal reports, "The white underclass
will begin to show its face in isolated ways. Look for certain schools
in white neighborhoods to get a reputation as being unteachable, with
large numbers of disruptive students and indifferent parents. Talk to
the police; listen for stories about white neighborhoods where the incidence
of domestic disputes and casual violence has been shooting up. Look
for white neighborhoods with high concentrations of drug activity and
large numbers of men who have dropped out of the labor force ... As
the spatial concentration of illegitimacy reaches critical mass, we
should expect the deterioration to be as fast among low-income whites
in the 1990s as it was among low-income blacks in the 1960s."
WAR BETWEEN THE RACES:
HOBBES WRIT LARGE
In addition to poverty, violence, illegitimacy, etc., the phenomenon
of the underclass exhibits another characteristic which seems to be
a defining "marker:" specifically, its racial quality or tone.
The underclass divides itself along very defined racial lines. There
is nothing "multicultural" about it. And the more entrenched
the underclass becomes in a given community, the more it is characterized
What does this mean for the future? - for one thing, it surely means
a growing degree of racial discord in and among Americas lower
socio-economic communities. Perhaps even race warfare! - and all the
preachments of todays liberal elites, as well as all the moral
posturing of religious conservatives, may do little to thwart its outbreak.
Those who constitute the "ruling class" in these communities
are simply impervious to such blandishments; they are far too subsumed
in the code of their new "warrior caste" to pay any heed to
the pleading of liberal social workers (mostly females) about the blessings
of "diversity" and "multi-culturalism" or the moralizing
of most Christian conservatives, many of whom have never dared to even
enter a ghetto, much less talk to those who live there - even for the
sake of the Gospel; and insofar as the police are concerned, most gang
members in the ghettos of the underclass simply have no fear of the
RACISM IN PRISON GANGS; A SIGN OF
THINGS TO COME FOR THE UNDERCLASS?
There is surely precedence in believing that events might indeed flow
in this direction; that is, that race wars might come to dominate life
in the communities of the underclass: a quick glance at what has happened
in Americas jails and prisons should swiftly dispel any doubts
as to the possibility (perhaps even the inevitability) of such a course.
If events in the nations jails and prisons are any indicator,
then the racism which is characteristic of much of the underclass will
only continue to worsen; moreover, there is every indication that
these racial tensions will spill out into middle-class neighborhoods
and inundate the larger society. What then will the multiculturalists
do? Finally, it does not bode well for the larger community to note
that nothing that prison authorities have attempted to do over the last
twenty years to control racism in the nations jails and prisons
has worked! The problem has only grown worse.
Indeed, according to a report commissioned by the California Department
of Corrections, "Prison gangs (which have been the main purveyors
of "race hatred" in the nations jails) have evolved
into sophisticated, organized criminal enterprises (despite the best
efforts of prison authorities to stop them). The report also substantiates
the fact of gang racism; it states that membership in almost all of
todays prison gangs is "... based first (and foremost) on
race, and is usually connected with racial superiority beliefs, e.g.,
the Aryan Brotherhood (AB) the Mexican Mafia, the Black Guerrilla Family
(BGF), etc.)" - for example, the "racism, totalitarianism,
Nazism, and anti-black, white supremacy" attitudes of the Aryan
Brotherhood. "Moreover," the report continues, "as
they grow in number and expand to other states, these gangs ... (are)
emerging as the organized crime problem of the future"
- and now this same seemingly irresistible, racial pathology has spilled
out of the prisons and has taken hold in underclass communities throughout
the country, inexorably breaking these communities down into racial
ghettos. And whats worse, this pathology is being directly abetted
by the prison gangs themselves! Indeed, the California report states
that "... all of the (prison) gangs (now) have connections to the
outside," and that many of these outside connections have "...
evolved into major organized crime enterprises" controlled from
sources inside prison walls. And wherever this control is extended,
it brings with it the same racism already inherent in the prison gang
GANGS AS REVOLUTIONARY
The California report also suggests that another process is at work
among prison gangs in addition to their growing contacts (and control)
with (of) the outside - specifically, the evolutionary transformation
of many of these gangs from simple criminal enterprises to revolutionary
political organizations. The report singles out those gangs that are
making this transition as "especially dangerous ..."
A similar study entitled, Prison Gangs, Their Extent, Nature and
Impact on Prisons, by the U.S. Department of Justice corroborates
the California study. It states that almost 80 percent "... of
gangs in institutions (now) have counterpart gangs on the streets."
The Department of Justice study also notes the same evolutionary transformation
of prison gangs from criminal enterprise to revolutionary political
action as noticed in the California report. For example, take the so-called
Black Guerrilla Family (BGF), one of the largest black prison gangs
in the nation. According to departmental accounts, "The Black Guerrilla
Family is involved in a major effort to strengthen its organization
within California prisons and affiliate itself with non-prison
based revolutionary organizations ... They promote and support
terrorist and other aligned criminal groups which in turn support them
by focusing on the issues of the Black political prisoners
... A special agent with the California Department of Corrections testified
before a California Senate Sub-Committees Executive Session that
a Black Guerrilla Family leader intended to establish the prison gang
as one of the most effective and deadly revolutionary forces in
society." The Justice Department report indicates that
these efforts are particularly focused on a black street gang known
as the CRIPs, The report states, "The CRIPs (Common Revolution
in Progress), is made up of at least 180 street gangs, numbering in
the thousands. It is presently unorganized and without a common cause
that can bring them together as an organized gang. Some BGF leaders
are looking at these gangs as a means to become a powerful force (in
the larger black community). It seems that these leaders are trying
to put together an attractive cause and purpose that will appeal to
the majority of these youths. They have even gone as far as developing
a name for the gang (Consolidated CRIP's Organization, or CCO) and are
negotiating with some of the CRIP's leaders. If this scheme works, or
if some other purpose pulls these groups into an organized gang, there
is a possibility that they could become a dominant force."
The white gangs are similarly focused on outside groups, specifically
the so-called "outlaw motorcycle gangs" like the Hells Angels
and the Outlaws, etc.
The Department of Justice study continues, "... the most common
characteristic of (prison) gang members (beyond their racism) is their
solidarity and loyalty to the gang and the next most common (characteristic)
is their hostility and anti-authority outlook ... (These) prison
gang members "never respond positively to constructive programs
... - so much for the belief that gang members will respond
positively to liberal social programs, especially when these programs
are seen as female led and sponsored. The report continues "In
nearly two-thirds of the gangs, membership is perceived as a life-time
commitment, blood in, blood out. Leaving the gang is an
act of betrayal and, in many cases, the consequences are harsh."
The "... only reputed way out of the gang is natural death or murder."
For example, the report notes that Aryan Brotherhood members are initiated
into the group "... either by (1) the "blood-in" membership
rule whereby a potential AB (member) performs a hit for
the AB, or (2) by two-thirds vote of the members after six months to
a years probation." As in all warrior cultures, "Leaders
are distinguished ... (by) physical prowess, seniority and commission
of violent acts."
RACIAL CONCEPTS BASED ON RELIGION
Paradoxically, the gangs justify their mythos and feelings of racial
superiority on "strong religious beliefs." Indeed, the
report states that "... all the gangs use religion ..."
For example, the report notes that "... the AB excludes all ...
non-Christian inmates from membership,"32 and that both
the Aryan Brotherhood and the KKKs are influenced by material "...
sent to inmates from the Aryan Nations Church of Jesus Christ Christians"
The situation is similar with the black groups, which today are increasingly
being influenced by the religious teachings of the Nation of Islam.
The black gangs, however, did not start out this way.
Initially, most black gangs appear to have been motivated more by leftist
"black power" ideas than anything else. However, as the white
gangs began ever more to undergird their mythos by a resort to religion,
black gangs felt impelled to move in this direction as well - but not
to Christianity, which was considered the "white man's religion," but
The Mexican Mafia, the Latin Kings, and other Chicano groups are similarly
oriented - their culture increasingly revolving around a fascinating
blend of Catholicism (emphasizing the Virgin Mary) and ancient Indian
(Mayan, Toltec, Aztec, etc.) beliefs.
WHERE ITS ALL TENDING
The question is, what does all this portend for the future? - a three-way
civilization conflict [whites (undergirded by an Aryan Nation-type
of thinking) vs. blacks (supported by beliefs systems similar
to those of the Nation of Islam) vs. Latinos (sustained by Myan-type
religious beliefs similar to those which have nourished the Chiapas
revolt)] in the communities of the nations underclass; a religious
and cultural war [and not just a war which merely pits one criminal
gang against another] which could ultimately engulf almost one-quarter
of the nations population in a violent and barbaric struggle for
survival - a struggle which could also polarize the larger community
along racial lines and rapidly "desecularize" it in a most
profound way - but not at all in a manner which would be recognizable
to most evangelicals.
And one shouldnt be too quick to say that the "moderation"
of the larger society will prevail in the end - the warrior castes of
the new underclass are simply no longer amenable to "moderation."
Nor should one blithely suppose that the police could bring order out
of the chaos that such a war could generate, no matter how many police
are put out on the streets; the fact of the matter is, the police today
are more afraid of these new "street warriors" than these
warriors are afraid of them.
Finally, one shouldnt assume that the larger society could
never be submerged by the barbarism and savagery of the new "warrior
elites" which today govern the nations underclass - thats
the assumption that most people made about Yugoslavia in 1991 - that
surely in the end the regular police forces and militias would prevail.
But not only was the larger society at last submerged, but the worst
elements in the areas three civilizations (i.e., the Croatians, the
Serbs and the Muslims) ultimately rose to the top of each civilizations
so-called "larger community."
Moreover, there is a growing amount of evidence which suggests that
the "warrior elites" of the new underclass are already moving
into situations which have the potential of actually legitimizing their
control of large swaths of Americas inner cities - and even of
extending that control beyond the inner city. Take whats happening
in Chicago, for example, where Chicagos biggest black street gang,
the Gangster Disciples, is running candidates for the City Council.
The Gangster Disciples are responsible for hundreds of street-corner
shootings and a big share of the citys drug trade; nonetheless,
members of the Gangster Disciples - from teenagers to old hands with
long prison records - are climbing into the political arena, registering
voters and passing out campaign leaflets which advocate more help for
the poor and attack the racial bias of the citys criminal justice
system. Gang experts in Chicago warn that the movement of the gangs
into the political arena is an ominous hint of things to come - a sign
which further seems to indicate that Americas inner cities are
moving inexorably towards the same kind of three-way civilization war
- a war which will pit underclass whites, blacks, and Latinos against
one another - that Yugoslavia is suffering through - a war which has
pitted Orthodox Serbs, Catholic Croats, and Muslim Bosnians against
one another in a war which - after three years of unremitting savagery
and blood-letting - shows no sign of abating - despite the surface calm
which now prevails as a result of the presence of NATO forces.
Civilization wars have a way of dehumanizing all of us, of "floating"
the worst of us to the surface. And reason has a sad record of fragility
and weakness in the face of such onslaughts - a somber and gloomy history
of collapse and disintegration when confronted with such brutality.
In the long history of mans inhumanity to man, our victory over
the Nazis was more the exception than the rule - the history of Rwanda
being more the rule than the exception, and this is as true in European
civilization as it is in the history of Asia and Africa.
- The article which appeared in The Wall Street Journal is
by Charles Murray, the same Charles Murray who - together with Richard
Herrnstein, authored The Bell Curve. There can be no doubt
that Murray's insight into much of the sociological pathology which
presently grips much of America is excellent - it's only when he skewers
his insight by a resort to racism that we take exception to what he
says. Both Mickey Kaus and Senator Patrick Monyhan (D-NY) say much
the same think Murray says, minus the racism. Charles Murray is employed
by the American Enterprise Institute; he is also the author of Losing
Ground (Basic, 1984).
- Taken from an article which originally appeared in the Wall
Street Journal by Charles Murray entitled, "The Coming White
Underclass." Taken from The National Times, April / May,
1994, pg. 73.
- Tom Morganthau, "The Price of Neglect," Newsweek,
May 11, 1992, pg. 54-55.
- Ibid., pg. 54-55.
- Don Terry, "Gangs Rarely Forgive Errors," New York
Times News Syndicate, September 21, 1994.
- Nancy R. Gibbs, "Murder in Miniature," in Time Magazine,
September 19, 1994, pg. 58.
- Op. Cit., Terry.
- William Julius Wilson, "Imagine Life Without a Future"
in the Los Angeles Times, May 6, 1992, pg. B-9.
- Ibid., pg. B-9.
- "Poverty rending families: Study links stress to higher breakup
rate for the poor," as reported first in the New York Times;
taken from the Sacramento Bee, January 15, 1993, pg. A-7.
- Assuming a 40 hour a week job with no time off.
- Its interesting to note in this connection that in a family
of four with two breadwinners, each working full time at minimum wage
($4.50 an hour), the family would still fall $2,680 short of the real
poverty level as established by the Orshansky formula.
- Census Bureau Report, 1993; taken from an excerpt which appeared
in The National Times, April / May 1994, pg. 26.
- Ibid., pg. 26.
- Op. Cit., Murray, pg. 73.
- Ibid., pg. 73.
- George M. Camp and Camille Graham Camp, Prison Gangs, Their
Extent, Nature and Impact on Prisons [Salem, New York (Criminal
Justice Institute): U.S. Department of Justice, July, 1985], pg. ix.
- Ibid., pgs. 75-76.
- State of California pamphlet entitled "Criminal Prison Gangs,"
1984; also George M. Camp and Camille Graham Camp, Prison Gangs,
Their Extent, Nature and Impact on Prisons [Salem, New York (Criminal
Justice Institute): U.S. Department of Justice, July, 1985], pg. 116.
- Op. Cit., Camp, pgs. 107-108.
- Ibid., pg. 110.
- Ibid., pg. ix.
- Ibid., pg. xiii.
- Ibid., pg. 110.
- Ibid., pg. 110.
- Ibid., pg. 15.
- Ibid., pg. ix.
- Ibid., pg. 75-76.
- Ibid., pg. x.
- Ibid., pg. ix.
- Ibid., pg. 199.
- Ibid., pg. 199.
- Ibid., pg. 85.
- Ibid., pg. 102-104.
- Jack Beatty, "Who Speaks for the Middle Class" in the
Atlantic Monthly, May 1994, pg. 65.
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