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."


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[1], 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"[2] - 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 nation’s future.

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 ..."[3] Morganthau goes on to stress that what’s 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."[4] 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 States.


Moreover, contrary to the thinking of most evangelicals, evidence indicates that it’s 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. What’s more, thanks to the medium of television, unlike the poor in the past, the urban poor of today know they’re poor! - they’re 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 the abuse.

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.


For these reasons, growing numbers of ghetto males have simply opted out of the "system!" They’ve 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 Chicago’s South Side. "Most of the gangs (which dominate Chicago’s 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 do’s and don’ts," writes Terry. He continues, "Mama may listen to a sad story ... but the gang’s enforcer doesn’t 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 gang’s money, rules or reputation. Nobody!"[5]

On paper, at least, the new "warrior culture" is well organized. Police report, for example, that Chicago’s Black Disciples are arranged in "sets" throughout Chicago’s 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 Terry’s findings. She adds, "There is plenty of work for everyone: car theft, drug running, prostitution, extortion, credit-card fraud." [6] The more violent you are," says Sgt. Matt Brandon of the public housing police, "the higher up in the gang you go."[7] Gibbs reports, moreover, that the only way out of these gangs is feet first.


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 so.

The plain fact of the matter is that it’s 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, it’s 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 today’s 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 Chicago’s 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 Chicago’s 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 ..."[8]

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 America’s (other) major cities."[9]

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 it’s the lack of jobs more than the lack of "family values" which is responsible - again, in the first instance - for the creation of America’s 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."[10] 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.


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 country’s population - 35.7 million people, up 4.2 million since 1989 - are living in poverty. But those figures are based on the government’s 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 world’s richest nation" and indicating the enormity of the pathology or process behind the development of today’s underclass.

Just how far off are the official figures which measure U.S. poverty? - they’re 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 family’s food budget to cover so-called "other costs," and recent scientific studies have found that the 1961 guide to a human being’s 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[11]), rather than at the $13,924 figure it was officially set at last year ($6.69 an hour).[12]

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."[13]

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 LBJ’s 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 nation’s 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."[14] They note that even after discarding such "so-called frills ... families living on this budget don’t have enough for all the necessities." Eighty percent can’t really afford the cost of their shelter; many must forgo medical and dental care - often because those at this income level don’t 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 don’t 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 nation’s population - not only black and Latino communities, but white communities as well.


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."[15]

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."[16]


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 by race.

What does this mean for the future? - for one thing, it surely means a growing degree of racial discord in and among America’s lower socio-economic communities. Perhaps even race warfare! - and all the preachments of today’s 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 them!


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 America’s jails and prisons should swiftly dispel any doubts as to the possibility (perhaps even the inevitability) of such a course. If events in the nation’s 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 nation’s 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 nation’s 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 today’s 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.)"[17] - for example, the "racism, totalitarianism, Nazism, and anti-black, white supremacy" attitudes of the Aryan Brotherhood.[18] "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"[19] - 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 what’s 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.[20] And wherever this control is extended, it brings with it the same racism already inherent in the prison gang mentality.


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 ..."[21]

A similar study entitled, Prison Gangs, Their Extent, Nature and Impact on Prisons,[22] 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."[23]

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-Committee’s 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’."[24] 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."[25] 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 ...[26] - 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."[27] 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 year’s probation."[28] As in all warrior cultures, "Leaders are distinguished ... (by) physical prowess, seniority and commission of violent acts."[29]


Paradoxically, the gangs justify their mythos and feelings of racial superiority on "strong religious beliefs."[30] Indeed, the report states that "... all the gangs use religion ..."[31] 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" in Idaho.[33]

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 to Islam.[34]

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.


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 nation’s 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 nation’s 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 shouldn’t 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 shouldn’t assume that the larger society could never be submerged by the barbarism and savagery of the new "warrior elites" which today govern the nation’s underclass - that’s 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 civilization’s 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 America’s inner cities - and even of extending that control beyond the inner city. Take what’s happening in Chicago, for example, where Chicago’s 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 city’s 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 city’s 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 America’s 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 man’s 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.

  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. Tom Morganthau, "The Price of Neglect," Newsweek, May 11, 1992, pg. 54-55.
  4. Ibid., pg. 54-55.
  5. Don Terry, "Gangs Rarely Forgive Errors," New York Times News Syndicate, September 21, 1994.
  6. Nancy R. Gibbs, "Murder in Miniature," in Time Magazine, September 19, 1994, pg. 58.
  7. Op. Cit., Terry.
  8. William Julius Wilson, "Imagine Life Without a Future" in the Los Angeles Times, May 6, 1992, pg. B-9.
  9. Ibid., pg. B-9.
  10. "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.
  11. Assuming a 40 hour a week job with no time off.
  12. It’s 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.
  13. Census Bureau Report, 1993; taken from an excerpt which appeared in The National Times, April / May 1994, pg. 26.
  14. Ibid., pg. 26.
  15. Op. Cit., Murray, pg. 73.
  16. Ibid., pg. 73.
  17. 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.
  18. Ibid., pgs. 75-76.
  19. 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.
  20. Op. Cit., Camp, pgs. 107-108.
  21. Ibid., pg. 110.
  22. Ibid., pg. ix.
  23. Ibid., pg. xiii.
  24. Ibid., pg. 110.
  25. Ibid., pg. 110.
  26. Ibid., pg. 15.
  27. Ibid., pg. ix.
  28. Ibid., pg. 75-76.
  29. Ibid., pg. x.
  30. Ibid., pg. ix.
  31. Ibid., pg. 199.
  32. Ibid., pg. 199.
  33. Ibid., pg. 85.
  34. Ibid., pg. 102-104.
  35. Jack Beatty, "Who Speaks for the Middle Class" in the Atlantic Monthly, May 1994, pg. 65.

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