May 26, 2015

British School Children More Aware of White Genocide than Previous Generations

via White Genocide Project

While the last few generations have been unashamedly anti-White, a new UK survey shows that school children are waking up in their masses.

Almost 6,000 10 to 16 year-olds in England have taken part in a survey, issued by the group ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ or ‘SRTRC’ for short.

● 84% of the children agreed that: “Racism is taken more seriously when it is towards a Black or Asian person than when it’s towards a White person.
● 60% said they agreed that: “Asylum seekers and immigrants are stealing our jobs.
● 49% said they agreed that: “Migration is out of control or not being managed properly.
● 35% said they agreed that: “Muslims are taking over our country
● 31% said they agreed that: “Migrants are all here illegally
In the same survey, the children were also asked to estimate the number of foreign-born people living in the UK. The average estimation was that the UK is 47% foreign-born.

Ged Grebby, SRTRC’s chief executive said “We have found that there is a large amount of negativity when young people are asked questions about immigration or Muslims. This survey shows that this is fueled by a totally distorted view of the number of immigrants and Muslims living in the UK.

It is only once we acknowledge the existence of these attitudes and identify the influences at work that we can deliver the right kind of educational interventions to help build capacity to resist racist ideas and attitudes among young people.

The probable explanation for why today’s children are more aware of anti-White policies is because they are the ones who are suffering as a result.

If demographers are correct in their predictions, the UK could be a White minority nation by around 2050. Racial conflict is likely to emerge as a result of this, and White children are the ones who have everything to lose.

These anti-White policies did not just pop-up one day out of the blue — there are many powerful and influential anti-Whites in the UK, and around the world, who are funding and promoting these policies.

Collectively, they are responsible for White Genocide, because “diversity” and “multiculturalism” are deliberate attempts to get rid of the White majority – they are code words for White genocide.

WaPo’s Ridiculous Map About America’s 'Most Racist' Places

via Theden

The Washington Post’s Wonkblog posted an interesting map at the end of last month. Titled “The Most Racist Places in America,” it seems to prove that, once again, the South must be just chock full of evil White racists who want nothing more than to restore Jim Crow and hopefully also get a chance to lynch a few Blacks along the way. Here’s the map itself:

mostracisplacesinamerica

Now, the reason why this map is particularly ridiculous, and lazy, is how they generated the results. As you see in the upper left hand corner, it was derived from the volume of google searches for the word “nigger” in major media markets. For anyone who’s seen data visualization of the various races in America, what immediately jumps out is the fact that WaPo’s map largely coincides with the highest population densities of both Blacks and non-whites. For example, the green map below shows the population density of Blacks:


blackpopulationdensity


As you can see, the places with the highest density of Black populations track pretty well with WaPo’s map of those horrible racists searching the word nigger on the Internet. Another visualization also confirms that WaPo basically visualized Blacks searching the word nigger on Google. As someone in a conversation about this map pointed out, they might just be searching for song lyrics from any given contemporary rap song. Anyways, here’s the next map:

nonwhiteinfants

While not as corroborating as the above map, it still shows the pattern holds true. What is interesting here is that some of the most “racist” areas from WaPo’s map seem to coincide with the flood of Hispanic immigrants across our southern and southwestern borders over the last few decades. You can literally see the wave of invasion that began during the middle of the last century. The Camp of the Saints, anyone?

WaPo’s map is indicative of the significant laziness of mainstream media in recent decades. Instead of looking at a wide field of data to see what it might be telling us, they use something as inane as a google word search to quickly jump to the conclusion that those places with the highest occurrence of those searches are indicative of White racism. As we’ve seen again and again in recent years, our Brahmin elites in media, academia and politics are beginning to cling desperately to the narrative of pervasive and unending White racism, even as decades of data show us otherwise.

Recently, their saliva-flecked efforts at supporting that particular narrative have landed upon two cases of hanged Black men in the rural South. Even as investigators at all levels of the case indicated Otis Byrd was a likely suicide, the Brahmins and their underclass supporters, tried their damndest to frame it as a black man being lynched in the south. This week, a man named Roosevelt Champion III was discovered in similar circumstances, and again, authorities are indicating that preliminary information shows no foul play was involved. Look anywhere on Black twitter though, and the cries of “HE WAS LYNCHED” are already present.

Thankfully, the narrative seems to be turning despite the Brahmins’ best efforts. The reality of Black dysfunction is just too ubiquitous and present, largely thanks to the Internet and social media, for most people with any amount of common sense to ignore. The idea of White racism being the cause of Black dysfunction is disproven daily on sites like WorldStarHipHop, Twitter or Instagram. Daily we can see a psychotic and nihilistic culture on display, with nary a White face to be seen in the various videos, pictures and Tweets posted by those “authentic” Blacks of the ghetto underclass.

There really are no more excuses. Sorry.

White Riot: The Way of the Gang

via Radix

A battle between One Percenter motorcycle gangs in Waco, Texas left nine dead, eighteen wounded, and thousands chortling about “White on White” violence on Twitter. Of course, all of the “victims” were members of the MCs, whereas at least 40 people, some of whom were simply walking down the street, were shot over the same weekend in Chicago. But as the Joker tells us, Chi-raq is part of the plan, whereas tribes of mostly White outlaws merrily slaughtering each other in Red State America isn’t something law enforcement is prepared to accept, especially in Texas. People need to feel safe when they order their fried food at the family restaurant next door.

It’s worth noting how eager the police were to use force in this case. While progressives are saying the biker battle somehow proves police officers are less willing to use force against Whites, police reports acknowledge a response within 30 seconds. While police charge bikers turned their weapons on law enforcement, the head of the Bandidos is giving interviews denying that outlaw biker gangs (!) want a “criminal” reputation. Some publications targeted at bikers are even charging there was a “massacre” and police attacked first.

It is enlightening, if nothing else, to see how Texas law enforcement is detaining 170 people with $1 million bond each, how the press is openly encouraging White bikers to be denied service, and how the restaurant hosting the biker meeting has had its franchise agreement revoked. And the sneering contempt for mostly White outlaw bikers and the oft-expressed desire they feel the Iron Heel is the majority position among Whites of all political stripes. This weekend’s festivities for “Black Bike Week” in Myrtle Beach should prove a useful contrast, as businesses that refuse service to Black bikers because they want to avoid trouble swiftly become the targets of civil rights lawsuits.

The obvious reality is this is simply a reflection of identity politics, as African-Americans “own” their outlaws and most Whites despise theirs. As Commander George Lincoln Rockwell put it in one of his typically direct propaganda pieces, “We need a national White gang!” to combat other races who operate as a collective. Wildly misinterpreting the presence of SS bolts and swastikas among the most famous One Percenter gang, the Hells Angels, Rockwell offered to make them the American Nazi Party motorcycle division. He found that Sonny Barger and his friends were only wearing them to shock the “squares” Rockwell so desperately wanted to bring to his side.
A group that is united even to the point of irrationality can win concessions and respect from competitors. Thus White outlaws are cast into the outer darkness, while Blacks build memorials to Michael Brown. Blacks get paid off to keep from rioting; Whites are the ones who pay the bills.

The downside of course, is that a culture of “Us Against Them” and “No Snitching” also leads to communities coddling the living liabilities among them. In purely numerical terms, though Whites suffer disproportionately at the hands of Black crime, its Blacks themselves who suffer the most from the various thugs and criminals who plague their communities. It’s also true they don’t care. Black lives only occasionally matter, even to themselves. They generally obtain significance only when they become useful to White liberals.

No matter how high the cost of social dysfunction, Blacks would prefer to be victimized by their own kind than “saved” by the hated White man. If Zimbabwe has taught us anything, it’s the futility of making patronizing arguments that White rule is better than self-rule for Blacks, even if the argument is completely true.

And yet, even though we can objectively say this leads to a worse existence for Blacks in terms of quality of life, irrational loyalty gives them political power. They fight amongst each other, but they are united against the White man. As the noted African-American scholar Keenon Daequon Ray Jackson (better known as YG) put it in his definitive explanation of his people’s political philosophy, “Fuck them other niggers ‘cause I’m down for my niggers, I’ll ride for my niggers, fuck them other niggers.”

In contrast, as Steve Sailer noted, most White Americans don’t want to act like non-Whites, they want to act like White Americans. And they aren’t being irrational, just bourgeois. Given a certain level of public safety and expectation of objective justice, why should White Americans, or any Europeans, operate as part of a tribe when they already can expect the state to protect their lives and property, enforce contracts, ensure peaceful transfers of power, and avoid exploitative corruption? As Vito Corelone put it to Bonasera, “You found paradise in America, had a good trade, police protected you and there were courts of law. You didn’t need a friend like me.”

The problem here is that these “normal” expectations of bourgeois society are astoundingly rare in history. The reason La Cosa Nostra even exists is because they can’t even be called normal in all of Europe, only in northern European (and northern European derived) societies. And this is relatively recent—even the Icelandic Sagas contain accounts of multigenerational feuds among various families.

Corruption is low precisely in those societies where “tribalism” is weak as shown by low rates of cousin marriage, low attachment to extended families, and a general lack of “clan” groupings that operate above the immediate family. In societies where you don’t have to haggle and cheating people is generally frowned upon, you can build strong institutions that allow you to create more successful societies. There’s a reason Fukuyama called it “Getting to Denmark.”

Unfortunately, the very traits that make Northern European societies so successful are the ones that make it vulnerable to pathological altruism. The assumption that everyone is the same, individuals are interchangeable, and that kinship doesn’t really matter has led to the left-wing insistence on forcing the round peg of identity into the square hole of multiculturalism. Thus, the reason Muslims are unhappy and rioting even in famously generous nations like Sweden isn’t because they are unsuited for life in European society, it’s because Sweden and every other European society is so insidiously racist and oppressive. As we saw in Rotherham, England, a strong tribe defeats a weak nation, and we may look back on the expectation of relatively competent administration and an absence of corruption as simply a phase in European history.

Tribe and Its Limits

What comes next? Older patterns will emerge, notably extended patterns of kinship, the formation of tribes and gangs, and the creation of mutual support networks to compensate for the inability of the state to deliver public goods. These kinds of social systems are built upon “honor” as opposed to “rights” and legality, and to Traditionalists (or just men generally), they can serve as a welcome return to noble and heroic virtues.

Yet, there are also serious problems. A tribe is the beginning of any political order, but it can only by a beginning. By its very nature, its loyalties are arbitrary, its continuity uncertain, its organizational capability limited.

From the Cherokee to the Cherusci, tribes were conquered by more highly organized states and armies as bureaucracy triumphed over heroism. And as a casual glance at the history of “Indian scouts,” “barbarian axillaries,” or “tribal allies” will tell you, the petty loyalties of extended kinship groups make them relatively easy to buy. Formal discipline is a better guarantee of loyalty unto death than a “heroic culture.” And Nietzsche’s “coldest of the cold monsters,” the state, can command loyalty more surely than any warband guided by a charismatic leader.

Indeed, those societies that mostly highly value “honor” seem to have the greatest histories of disloyalty. A history of the honor obsessed cultures of ancient China or feudal Japan are an often tedious record of betrayals, murders, and intrigue among various officers and samurai constantly boasting about how honorable and amazing they all are. Perhaps the greatest warlord of feudal Japan, the famous Oda Nobunaga, only met his end when he was betrayed by Akechi Mitsuihide. Throughout Roman history, sworn allies become bitter enemies with startling speed and legion is inevitably sent against legion on the basis of greed and ambition. The “private governments” of feudal Europe also lend themselves to a casual sense of loyalty and emphasis on conspiracy, even when cloaked in piety.

But because a culture of honor is undeniably more idealistic than a culture of bureaucracy, “rights,” and “law,” the person who consciously operates outside the system, the outlaw, is a romantic figure precisely because he operates in a world of “honor.” The most famous fictional portrayal in recent years, in the news again for obvious reasons, is the fictional “Sons of Anarchy” motorcycle club in the eponymous FX series.

“Everything I do in this club is for this club”

After the fifth season, Jack Donovan used the series to explore the conflict between the “Happy Valley” life of the First World and the more authentic, limited, and passionate sense of identity and meaning derived from the tribal brotherhood of the gang. At some point, he writes, you have to decide whether you are “all-in or out.” Yet the protagonist, Jax Teller, never really does. He splits the difference even until the end, unable to reconcile his conscience and his love for his children with his loyalty to the cut.

The great love of Jax’s life, Tara, is murdered by his own mother, whom he goes on to kill himself in the penultimate episode. As the story is loosely based on Hamlet, Jax earlier killed his adoptive father figure Clay, the former head of the club, after learning Clay killed his real father. Jax goes on to order the deaths of members of the club, he kills people who helped the club in the past, and by the end of the series he is just as opportunistic and ruthless as the villainous Clay.

The one difference is that Jax is self-aware about what he has become. He takes steps to ensure his sons will never know “this life of chaos” and indeed, will growing up “hating” his memory if that is what it takes. For all the talk of family and authentic loyalty throughout the show, every bond of authentic family even the most bourgeois “square” enjoys with a wife, a mother, or son is perverted and destroyed. It’s a strange form of “family” which ensures the most moral decision a father can make is to ensure his sons never really know him.

Though the show profitted off the romantic image of motorcycle gangs (notably featuring Hell’s Angels founder Sonny Barger in a guest role), Jax’s conclusion at the end of the series is that he is not a good man, but “a criminal, and a killer.” He judges one can’t be a good man and a good outlaw at the same time. The most he can do is sacrifice himself to create a way out for his sons. And yet a shot of his older son absently fingering a “Sons” ring shows his dreams of a normal life for his children may go unfulfilled.

At the same time, Jax never betrays his brothers in SAMCRO. His final actions are a series of murders and carefully planned deceptions to protect the club and ensure its survival. He is able to make a proper farewell to his surviving brothers, all of whom watch him ride off with sadness and respect and will undoubtedly remember him as a hero. He dies in the same manner as his father, welcoming his fate, wearing his cut, a loyal Son until the end.

The original vison of the Sons, as laid out by Jax’s father J.T., was for it to be a kind of anarchist commune guided by the ideals of Emma Goldman among others. It’s implied that Clay perverted this vision by getting the club into gun running and that Jax’s sacrifice will allow the Sons to move closer to the way it was supposed to be. Yet without gun-running and the conflict with other MC’s and the law this necessitates, there would be no danger, violence, or necessity to work together. If it’s just a bunch of lazy druggies, what exactly would have bonded the Sons of Anarchy? The glorified shitposting of an adulterous hippie based on the half-baked scribblings of a dead Communist Jew?

Like Jax himself, the show seems to want to have it both ways. The Sons of Anarchy are portrayed as a somewhat “good” criminal organization by liberal standards. Even under Clay, they run guns but they keep meth out of town and fend off villainous developers. They are usually fighting with White supremacists in one form or another, who are either dumb, meth dealing, unattractive proles (who wear wifebeaters instead of cuts) or hypocritical and smarmy elitists. One of the most important members of the Sons, Bobby, is a Jew wearing a Chai necklace. And in one of his final actions, Jax has the club patch over the member of a Black MC who helped the club, without even having him prospect. You can murder, run guns, and unleash chaos all over the state of California without anyone being too upset, but God help you if you don’t have any diversity.

At the same time, the Sons are “cool” precisely because they are willing to get their hands dirty. They murder those who get in their way, they earn their money either through skilled labor or various exciting schemes rather than by staring at a screen all day, and they have a bond of brotherhood sustained through conflict and the danger of violent death.

“Every man thinks meanly of himself for not having been a solider, or not having been at sea,” said Dr. Johnson. And perhaps today every man thinks meanly of himself for not daring, if only for a day, to live as his ancestors did, to live truly as a man, outside the golden straitjacket of the modern state, blade in hand instead of a computer mouse. Even as this is written in a Starbucks, a chubby man of curiously indeterminate age strolls by, wearing camouflage shorts and a “Sons of Anarchy–California” T shirt. Nothing says frustrated masculinity than wearing the “colors” of an outlaw motorcycle gang (and claiming a local chapter!) that doesn’t even really exist. Sons of Anarchy, a soap opera for men, spoke to people who wanted to vicariously indulge in the fantasy of being an outlaw while still enjoying life in Happy Valley.

Gang, Tribe, State, and Imperium

Many criminal brotherhoods can be as materialistic and bourgeois as any corporation. The earnings may be quicker and the dangers more severe, but the primary motivation is still money. And when brotherhood interferes with business, someone is getting whacked. Yet every organized group of men, every “gang,” from the Hell’s Angels to ISIS, is a proto-state and a challenge to authority. It’s an attempt to substitute “our” system for “their” system. Every anarchist is, as Mussolini observed, simply a baffled dictator. Given sufficient resources, every gang will eventually make the transition into a ruling authority or some kind of a state. After all, Rome was founded by a gang. And the difference between taxation and extortion is, like the definition of treason, a matter of dates.

As a comment on the return of street crime to Central Park under New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Matt Drudge recently used the image of the 1979 film “The Warriors.” Loosely based on the novel (itself based on Xenophon’s The Anabasis and the famous journey of the Ten Thousand), the film follows the dangerous journey home for members of a multiracial TV gang (including White people) after a disastrous attempt for the city’s gangs to unite.

In the novel, minority gangs have a vague scheme to challenge “the Man” (the White state) for control of the city; in the film, it’s a more cartoonish plot for outlandish gangs of all races to start “taxing” residents because “we got the streets, suckas!” Of course, the gang leader who speaks grandly about each tribe forgoing “our little piece of turf” in service to greater goal gets murdered, not for any reason, but because one gang member simply “likes doing stuff like that.” The Warriors are blamed, and have to fight their way home. In the end, most make it, but the larger status quo and the petty battles of gang against gang remain.

By their very nature, gangs and tribes are given to conflict and wars over issues outsiders would consider petty or even absurd. And the short-sightedness of such groupings often frustrates activists of all stripes who see in the internal “barbarians” of the state a potential ally for social change. After all, every Black activist worth his government handout has tried to broker a “gang truce” as a precursor to a larger reform effort, only to watch it fall apart because someone inevitably “disrespects” someone else. In Waco, police mocked the source of the conflict among the gangs as “stupid stuff.”

Yet in a larger sense, the conflict made perfect sense. One gang (in this case, the Bandidos) was attempting to impose its will on smaller groupings (the Cossacks), demanding taxes in exchange for allowing a group the freedom to operate. In its own small way, the Bandidos were state building and smaller groupings were resisting. We can see the same kind of process in cities like Raqqa and Ramadi today. Tactically, it seems obvious that launching the great Biker War of 2015 in full view of heavily armed SWAT teams was an act of astonishing stupidity. But for those personally engaged in the contest, to back down in sight of competitors could have led to far worse consequences than some jail time.

Most “gangs” are simply purveyors of various forms of degeneracy, whatever their mythos or what symbols they cover themselves with (come the Revolution, meth dealers who cover themselves in runes or Germanic symbols will be flayed after being given a hit of Slo-Mo). But as the state collapses, Whites, especially working class Whites, will be forced to clan up or die out and the very traits of individualism, fairness, and universalism that have enabled us to build successful societies will transform into liabilities. Tribes or what will be called “gangs” are an inevitability, though those which will be most successful will resist the latter label even as they fulfill the form.

There’s a vague consensus developing among Identitarians that Whites should focus on building independent communities, tribes, and other groupings that can improve their own lives and serve as mutual aid societies in the troubled times to come. Yet the strong bonds of tribe can fuel mutually destructive conflicts. The groups that have the strongest bonds of loyalty will be those who have been forged together in the harshest circumstances, those who have walked closest to the edge of annihilation. And as history has shown, it will require ideology, spirituality, and even bureaucracy for such groupings to endure.

To look back to the Roman example, a founder of the Eternal City just as important as Romulus was the legendary second king Numa Pompilius. Numa created the religious rituals and orders that bound the polity together and helped forged together the opposing tribes which comprised the city’s population. The Männerbünde can conquer or destroy a state, but it cannot truly found one by the sword alone.

The deracinated European masses already exist outside the protection of the states they themselves founded. And while some may seek identity and meaning in the fierce bonds of an “outlaw” gang, a militia, or a religion preaching the End is near, the groups that can actually create something will have a higher purpose than simply rebellion for rebellion’s sake or a desire to “opt out” of mass society. As Traditionalists attempt to take the revolution offline, they will need a larger guiding ideal than plunder. After all, bourgeois society offers enough outlets for “rebellion” and ways to profit off degeneracy.

What is that ideal? I have my answer, as does everyone reading this. And none of those answers matter so long as they remain solely within books or on websites. Those who are actually trying to build something in the real world alone can determine what is willing to fight for, to suffer for, and if need be, to die for. I can offer suggestions, but it remains to the reader to decide on his own answers and live for his ideal in the real world. As any “tribe” understands, it is in conflict that bonds are forged, not with words. And the existential struggle that will justify the existence of Western Man is already taking shape before our eyes.

Strength for strength’s sake, or “brotherhood” as an end in itself isn’t enough, as ideologies, nations, and states endure even as “tribes” and “gangs” fade away or are bought off. Members of outlaw MC’s may be authentic badasses (as opposed to #badasses) who live a more “authentic” life than cubicle monkeys. Yet as we see in Waco, the triumphs and failures of these tribes are devoid of any larger meaning, justified only as a kind of experiment in existential nihilism, fodder for contemptuous LEO’s looking to increase their budgets and giddy SJW’s happy to find dysfunctional Whites.

It’s hard not to see it as a waste. But even this failure is enough to tug at the soul of the Last Man, tempting him to dream of a life unrestrained by convention, and a world where he is more than a debt slave in a suit.

Policing Mean Streets: How New York Detectives Keep Order

via American Renaissance

Robert Jackall, Street Stories: The World of Police Detectives, Harvard University Press, 2005, 429 pp., $16.33.

This book is about New York City detectives: what they do, how they think, and the criminals they catch. It was written by a sociologist at Williams College who spent several years working with detectives–long enough to understand every aspect of their work, but not long enough to lose an outsider’s perspective. In this book, Prof. Robert Jackall does two things: He tells detailed stories about the gritty work of solving crimes, and draws larger conclusions about the nature of police work–and he does both very well. Street Stories was written 10 years ago, but it is still a first-rate introduction to a profession that, aside from glamorized movie portrayals, is completely unknown to most of us.

Most of the action is set in the 1980s and 1990s, when New York was about 40 to 45 percent white (it is now down to 36 percent white), but detectives, then as now, had an overwhelmingly non-white clientele. Prof. Jackall notes that in 1990, at the height of the plague of subway robberies, there were 1,002 reported cases of robbery by wolf packs, or groups of young people. In all but two cases, the criminals were described as black or Hispanic, and the other two descriptions were “ambiguous.” Only 10 percent of older subway robbers were white.

BeatingTheFair
Beating the fare, 1980.

Prof. Jackall writes that black officers, “who regularly get called Uncle Toms by black culprits and vilified mercilessly by them in other ways, simply accept the racial composition of subway predators and distance themselves as much as possible from the black culprits whom they arrest.” In the stories Prof. Jackall tells, there are scores of criminals, accomplices, buddies, and hangers-on; hardly any appear to be white.

Tricks of the trade

New York City detectives start as uniformed police officers before they are promoted to “gold shield” status. They used to be chosen for their brains, bravery, and initiative, but that gave rise to charges of favoritism (and, no doubt, “racism”), so promotion has become more routine–18 months of a certain kind of drug-busting assignment, for example, means an automatic gold shield. Mr. Jackall says this has dragged down quality.

The detective’s job is to figure out who committed the crime, gather enough witnesses and evidence to get a conviction in court, and make arrests. Street Stories makes it clear that almost no crimes are solved through Sherlock Holmes-type intellectual theatrics. (The author of the Holmes stories, Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle, tried his hand at real-world crime solving, and was a flop.) Instead, as Prof. Jackall explains, “All detectives rely on informants for information,” and that “virtually all criminal investigations come to a standstill without informants of some sort.” Why do they talk?
Some informants see cops as father figures to whom they can divulge the wickedness all around them. Others barter information in exchange for investigators’ turning a blind eye to their own criminal activities. Still others want an immediate payoff in the form of money or bags of drugs left behind after a raid they help arrange. Still other informants want the police to protect them by locking up their enemies.
Surprisingly often, an informant shows up uninvited at the station house, but most detectives carefully cultivate informants. Prof. Jackall writes of one detective who knew not only the names of all the prostitutes in his area but the names of their children. He was always square with them, and they gave good information.

OfficerWithSuspect
Officer with suspect.

Informants have information only because they live in or at the edges of the criminal world, so they must be discreet. If an officer gives them a ride home from the station house, they want to be let off blocks away, even if they’re in an unmarked car.

Informants often have good information because criminals talk about their crimes. This is not always because they are stupid, though many are. In their world, it is useful to have a reputation for violence, so if a robber shot or carved up a victim last Friday, it burnishes his reputation to brag about it. As one criminal explains, “A murder ain’t a murder until you talk bout it on the street.” A high-profile murder that makes the news is especially gratifying to its author, so the temptation to blab is all the stronger in those cases that the police are most desperate to solve.

But detectives often get only partial knowledge from informants. They may learn that “Shorty,” who hangs out at an after-hours club in the Bronx, was in on the hit, but the informant doesn’t know Shorty’s real name or address. It may take days of leg work to track him down, and he might be the wrong Shorty.

Figuring out who committed the crime is sometimes the easy part. Detectives then have to persuade witnesses to testify. Often they are:
civilian witnesses usually so terrorized or confused that their perceptions are jumbled or limited, neighborhood residents, some of whom are civilians too frightened to come forward and who may be indirect beneficiaries of criminal activities, and some are themselves criminals who reveal information only when they can trade it for their own advantage.
Key witnesses may be low-lifes who make a bad impression on the stand even when they are telling the truth. Sometimes, criminals are offered reduced sentences to testify against accomplices, but this will come out on cross-examination. What is a jury going to think of “bought” testimony?

Lining up witnesses is even more complicated because some racial groups refuse on principle to help the police; the phrase “snitches get stitches” has been around a long time. Detectives find themselves giving potential witnesses assurances that may not be true: that their testimony will lock the rat up for sure, and he will never have a chance to take revenge. The problem with witnesses is so bad that Prof. Jackall worries that “the reluctance or fear on the part of civilian witnesses to testify against violent criminals represents a danger to democratic institutions . . . .”



The best evidence is therefore a confession, and Prof. Jackall writes that street criminals are surprisingly likely to confess. Their first mistake is talking to detectives at all. They don’t clam up or insist on a lawyer because think they can trick the police into thinking they are innocent. They think that will cross them off the suspect list and they will go home free. The interview begins, and both sides settle in for what Prof. Jackall calls “endless recitation of almost identical excuses and justifications, improbable explanations, and outright lies.”

Detectives often use trickery to get a confession. They act as if they have evidence they don’t. They claim an accomplice has ratted, so the suspect better tell his side of the story. One of the cleverest things they do is suppress all moral revulsion and appear to sympathize with criminal motives. No one likes to confess in the face of stony disapproval, so the detective has to sound understanding: A rival dealer stole your crack so of course you had to kill him. It’s only right to stab a girl 25 times if she two-times you. The robbery victim fought back so there was no choice but to shoot him. “You gotta give em an out,” explains a detective. At the end of a long battle of wits that finally ends in a confession many criminals fall asleep in their chairs–police call this “the sleep of the guilty.”

Detectives spend hours talking to criminals, walking them through their self-serving stories, catching them in contradictions, and leading them into traps. They have to know how to think exactly like a criminal.

Detectives also have to weave very carefully through the thickets of laws that proscribe what they can and can’t do at every stage of an investigation. As often as not, Prof. Jackall explains, getting results requires “a willingness to bypass or bend procedure.”

The ability to think like a criminal–and sometimes even commit what are, technically, minor crimes in the pursuit of evidence–unnerves the prosecutors and judges with whom detectives have to work at trial, but justice often requires that rules be bent. Most people involved in the system know that. Even so:
The legal system’s dependence on the morally ambiguous role of criminal investigators confers no privileges on detectives themselves, however. When it comes to formal proceedings, the watchword among detectives is: ‘It’s always the detective who’s on trial.’
Defense lawyers are always on the lookout for slipups, and are past masters at setting clients free–even when they are obviously guilty–on the basis of some procedural error by the police.

There is constant tension between official regulations and what detectives have to do to get the job done. In general, the higher-ups who have spent the least time on the beat are the worst sticklers for procedure. Women, especially, try to get off the street as quick as they can, and are good at taking promotion tests. They also rise rapidly in departments that are desperate to showcase women in management. Detectives hate taking orders from “house mouses” who have not “made their bones” working dangerous neighborhoods.

The amount of effort detectives put into a case varies according to the moral status they give the victim. They pour their hearts into cases with innocent victims, especially women or children. In one of Prof. Jackall’s stories, detectives made genuinely impressive efforts to find the man who raped and killed an unoffending 50-year-old Dominican widow who lived across the airshaft from her law-abiding adult son.

In 1977, a man specialized in snatching women’s purses in the subway so he could get their keys and address and go burgle their apartments. In order to make sure he had plenty of time for the burglary, he shoved the women onto the tracks in front of an on-coming train.

SubwayCar1981
New York City subway, 1981.

Detectives live to catch people like him. Cases like that strengthen detectives’ image of themselves as champions of the good, an image shaken by countless cases in which the zeal for justice is dulled because everyone involved is scum. There is not as much joy in beating the pavement to find the killer of a brute who, more or less, deserved to die.

Prof. Jackall describes the discovery of a multiple offender found dead from a fall behind a notorious building full of dealers. Did he lose his grip on the fire escape while he was trying to steal drugs from one of the apartments, or did dealers catch him in the act and pitch him off? The building was full of criminal and semi-criminal Dominicans who would never cooperate with the police. The case was closed: accidental death by falling.

Dominican Drug Dealers
Dominican drug dealers.

There are two kinds of cases detectives work the hardest. One is cop killings; police always want to catch someone who kills a brother officer. The other is high-profile cases that make the news. The whole world hears about it if a pretty young jogger is murdered in Central Park, and the police commissioner and even the mayor fear for their jobs if the killer isn’t caught. Enormous effort goes into cases like that, even if it means pulling men off murders in less glamorous boroughs while trails go cold.

"Central Park Five"
Convicted in the Central Park jogger attack of 1989.

Police officers tend to conclude that some people are just plain bad and can’t be helped. Prof. Jackall writes that “in the entire police department, one finds few believers in the inherent goodness of humankind, or in social explanations for criminal violence, or in the perfectibility of human society.”

Officers see so much “nonchalant, routine use of lethal violence” that they don’t mind seeing it used in what they call “public service homicides.” There are smiles all around the squad room when a robber and a drug dealer manage to kill each other in a holdup. Detectives like to hear about “street justice” but are, of course, forbidden to encourage it.

Police are also pleased when civilians take things into their own hands. An 80-year-old man fished out a shotgun and blew off the head of a man who broke into his apartment and was menacing his wife. When police asked if he had any trouble firing on the intruder, his reply won admirationni in the precinct: “Heck no. It was just like shooting a big buck.”

“Jumpers” come from everywhere east of the Mississippi to commit suicide off the George Washington Bridge. Prof. Jackall reports that they “are often regarded with a level of scorn that those who work constantly with death by violence reserve for people who throw away life.” He adds that “detectives resist the painful work of informing suicides’ next-of-kin, not least because relatives of suicides almost always deny reality and insist that police open homicide investigations.”

Missing persons are a low priority. Even the most apparently normal people check out for a while without telling anyone, and usually show up again.

Detective work is dangerous, poorly paid, and misunderstood or reviled by just about everyone. Detectives retreat into a social circle that becomes almost exclusively one of fellow officers. Perhaps it is therefore not surprising that Prof. Jackall finds that if a man sticks with police work it is usually because he likes it. “With important exceptions, detectives exult in the danger of their work, in the heart-pumping excitement that only physical risk, the chase, and mortal combat afford.” Anyone who has carried a shield knows that “the streets can explode in a heartbeat” and that arrests “often provoke wild behavior that detectives remember for the rest of their lives.”

New York City detectives, 1978.
New York City detectives, 1978.

This is not a line of work that naturally attracts women, but only a few people dare point out the folly of dressing women in uniforms and putting them on the beat. When a bar or flophouse owner calls the police because the place is in an uproar, he complains if a woman shows up. He wants officers who can take firm action short of pulling a trigger.

Lozada

One of Prof. Jackall’s best stories is about the hunt for the man who pulled the trigger on the first New York City lady policeman to die in the line of duty. His account is full of insights about how the department handled this highly-publicized crime, but Prof. Jackall lets the reader draw for himself what was really the most important lesson simply by describing the circumstances of her death. When rookie plainclothes officer Irma Lozada–all 120 pounds of her–tried to arrest a chain snatcher, he wrestled her gun away and shot her with it.

As an interesting sidelight, Prof. Jackall notes that right at the crime scene, several other officers thrashed Lozada’s veteran partner, 42-year-old Nat Giambavalo. He was expected to protect her.

Prof. Jackall clearly admires detectives, but he does not overlook their failings. Some use their authority to shake women down for sex. Some steal money or jewelry from crime scenes or even from murder victims. Some start selling drugs themselves. Prof. Jackall writes of one who kept a sledge hammer in his car, and methodically wrecked criminals’ apartments.

It is the job of the Internal Affairs Bureau to catch these miscreants, but no one wants to work for the “rat squad.” Prof. Jackall reports that the quality of work in the bureau was improved with a new system that required the best detectives to spend two years in internal affairs, after which they could pick their own assignment.

The criminal mind

A study of detectives is also a study of criminals, and Street Stories throws interesting light on the criminal mind. A man arrested for robbing subway token booths explained his career to Prof. Jackall: “You wants to know why I does what I do? I was making $8,000 a week [in 1991]. And I could fuck at will. Why should I take a straight job?”

When robbers start out as youngsters, they often run in packs and want to show how tough they are. They egg each other on and end up hurting or killing people unnecessarily. More experienced robbers never use unnecessary force. They cultivate an aura of implacable cruelty that terrifies people into compliance without a struggle. Violence is messy and gets attention from the police. Experienced robbers say they make 30 to 35 scores for every arrest.

SubwayArrest1972
Subway arrest, 1972.

Many robbers choose their victims carefully: old women or drunks, for example. Others rob Asians because they think the risk of being identified is lower: “All we niggas look alike to da Chinks.” Sometimes gangs of blacks rampaging through crowds shout, “Just the whites,” or, “Get the whites.”

Veteran criminals often give themselves away by following the same routine in the same part of town. If someone sticks a silver gun in your face in Washington Heights and says “This is a stickup; gib me everything you got,” police have a good idea who he was. They probably have a photo of him on file to show you for a positive ID.
Some criminals pursue their own justice. Prof. Jackall writes of a man who was invited to pick the thug who robbed him out of lineup. He politely declined, saying he would rather the man stayed on the street so he could kill him himself.

Criminals are not romantic. A man whom the police picked up had a woman with him. To the question, “Is this your girlfriend?” he replied, “Hell no; I just fuck her.” Prof. Jackall writes of two men who forced a woman into a car to take her to a lonely place and kill her. During the ride, the man in the back seat with her made her give him a blow job. When they stopped, he took her out and shot her.

Chivalry is not entirely dead: “I mean, it okay that he shot her cuz these bitches need to be taught a lesson. But you don’t shoot a woman in the face.” And criminals have rules: “You can rob all the peoples you want on the trains, but you don’t rob the peoples you smokes crack wit.”

Street Stories is full of inside details about police work.

* At least at the time this book was written, if an officer was on a stakeout that lasted longer than expected, he had to call in to get permission to stay out at overtime wages. If budgets were tight he had to go home.

* Many criminals escape back to Mexico or the Dominican Republic when things get hot.

* When you find a fresh corpse, how do you estimate the time of death? Take its temperature rectally, and calculate how many hours it took for the body temperature to drop.

One retrospective lesson of this book is that police work has had the same racial angles, decade after decade. Prof. Jackall points out that even though officers knew that criminals were overwhelmingly black or Hispanic 30 years ago, to admit to acting on this information would have been “fatal to a police officer’s career.” It is also clear from Street Stories that at least since the 1970s, the New York Times has consistently argued that the police are “racist,” and that non-white criminals are innocent victims of circumstance.

1992 riot
Dominicans rioting in 1992 over a drug dealer shot to death by police.

Just as it does today, it paid to riot. In 1992, a white police officer struggled with a Dominican drug dealer, and ended up shooting him. The press clucked about the poor downtrodden Dominicans, who rioted for six days over police “racism.” The black mayor, David Dinkins, rushed to give comfort to the drug dealer’s family, and the city paid for a fancy funeral in the Dominican Republic. Police were furious. A grand jury refused to indict, and it was proven that the original claims against the officer were lies.

Some things don’t change.

You Looking at Me?

via Living in a Madhouse

The perception of facial expressions

A team  led by  Glasgow University  in Scotland   published  research in  2009 in the journal Current Biology on  differences in the interpretation of facial expressions by  different racial  groups (1).  The research  suggests  that Whites (2) and East Asians  differ significantly in their mode of scrutiny of faces and  their success in identifying emotions from facial expressions.

Whites  concentrate their attention on the eyes and the mouth equally while East Asians concentrate largely on the eyes. The consequence is that the latter have difficulty in distinguishing expressions which have a  similarity around the eyes. Whites, who use  two reference areas,  are significantly more adept at correctly identifying  such expressions  The difference in the mode scanning faces used by  the two groups  plausibly translates into a difference in  the emoticons  used . by Whites and East Asians   Whites  use representations of the mouth  :) for happy and :( for sad; East Asians  representations of the eyes^.^ for happy and ;_; for sad.

The research involved  White  and East Asian  subjects  (3) viewing still images of  faces  whose emotions were  classified  using the Facial Action Coding System (FACS), which categorises emotion depending on the muscles used. Those wishing for the full technical details of the study can find them at the url given at note (1).

The subjects were shown  both White  and  East Asian photographs with expressions classified as Happy’, ‘Surprise’, ‘Fear’, ‘Disgust’, ‘Anger’ and  ‘Sadness’ plus ‘Neutral’ with Same Race  and Other Race  FACS-coded faces.

Whites correctly identified expressions all the time,  but East Asians  confused fear with surprise and disgust with anger, while the sadness, happiness and  neutral images produced similar results amongst both the White and East Asian subjects. Let us try to winkle out why this might be.

The nature of the mis-identified emotions

There are  two obvious differences between the expressions which are and are not correctly identified. First, all the emotions involved in incorrect identifications are in some manner unpleasant emotions, while happiness and  sadness contain one pleasant and one unpleasant emotion.

Fear and surprise and disgust and anger are pairs which have some tangential similarity. Indeed,  they may be experienced at the same time or at least in rapid sequence, giving the impression of emotions being mixed.   Probably because they are emotionally cousins to one another,  their facial representations have similarities, for example, we raise our eyebrows and widen our eyes  for both fear and surprise.
Contrariwise, happiness and sadness are two diametrically opposed emotions. They have no tangential similarity and their facial expressions are perceived as discrete and presumably  more easily recognised.

The second major point of difference is the response they produce in others. Fear, surprise, disgust and anger  are all what one might call active emotions. When we experience them we do so in an energetic way, for it is impossible to feel any of these  emotions without being physical aroused because  to experience them will result in a rush of adrenaline. Conversely,  sadness and  happiness, although they may be experienced in an energetic way,  for example in ecstasy or violent grief,  can also  be experienced in a physically quiet manner.

It is also arguable that the sadness or happiness of others, unless we are significantly  emotionally attached to the person, does not evoke as strong a response in an observer as fear, surprise, disgust and anger do, regardless of how well or little the person displaying the expressions is known to the observer. The reason for this is easy to see: fear, surprise, disgust and anger all offer a potential threat, whether that be  experiencing something unpleasant (disgust), concern about whether there is something to worry about of which we have yet to be aware  (fear, surprise) or the fear of someone indicating they are in a state to do you harm (anger).

The bias in the East Asian mis-identifications

There was a pattern to the East Asian mis-identifications. The showed a bias towards the softer, less threatening emotions. Faced with a choice between fear and  surprise they chose surprise and between  disgust and anger,  disgust.

The researchers attribute this tendency amongst East Asians to select  less threatening emotions  to be culturally determined. This may be the case,  but it would be rash to accept it as self-evident.   East Asians may  choose less threatening emotions when they misidentify  expressions simply because their mode of scanning the face makes one type of emotion easier to identify than another. Alternatively,  and more interestingly, East Asians could be genetically slanted towards selecting less threatening emotions.  Unless personality is not subject to any genetic influence, (4), then the genes which control personality will be subject to natural selection. If the form of a society favours the quiescent personality,  then those with the genes which tend towards such personalities will be favoured. There is evidence that  there are innate behavioural differences  between racial types and the reported differences in facial perception between Whites and East Asians seem to  fit into them.

A quarter of a century ago  Edward Wilson reported on studies by D G Freedman (1974, 1979)  on  new born   infants  which  “demonstrated  marked racial differences   in locomotion,  posture,  muscular tone and emotional response of  newborn infants  that cannot reasonably be explained as the result of  training or  even conditioning within the womb.  Chinese-American newborns,  for example, tend to be less changeable, less easily perturbed by noise and movement,  better  able to adjust to new stimuli and  discomfort,  and quicker  to  calm themselves than  Caucasian-American  infants.”  P274 Sociobiology; Abridged version.

More recently Professor Phil Rushton addressed the subject:

“Temperamental differences, measured  objectively by activity recorders attached to arms and  legs, show  up in babies.  African babies are more active sooner and  develop earlier than White babies who, in turn, are more active than East Asian babies.  Motor  behaviour  is  a  highly  stable individual  difference variable.  Even among Whites,  activity level measured during free play shows highly significant negative correlations with IQ: more restrained children average higher intellects. “ “Winning Personality” Masks Low Scores’ (http://www.vdare.com/asp/printPage.asp?url=)

In my recent American Renaissance article (AR October 2009)  I addressed the failure of  East Asians  to become the dominant race, viz:  “despite their higher average IQ, Asians have probably failed to become the culturally dominant race because their innate personality traits work against them. They are too passive, too unquestioning, too lacking in initiative. The shape of their IQ with higher non-verbal scores and lower verbal scores may be wholly or partially the cause of these personality traits or, conversely, the shape of the IQ is simply an expression of the personality traits. Other biological traits such as low testosterone levels may also promote such behaviour.”

If East Asians are truly less able to interpret facial expressions than whites, this could provide an explanation of why, despite their superior IQ  distribution, they have failed to become the dominant racial type in terms of social development and intellectual  and technological advancement. The difference in ability to interpret facial expressions may mean that East Asians are less socially adept than whites with a consequent need for different social structures to Whites.

 How could  such a perceptual difference arise?

Some behavioural signals are almost certainly entirely  customary rather than innate. For example, Britons and Americans nod their heads to signify agreement and see black as the colour of death, the Chinese shake the head to signify agreement and see white as the colour of death. It is  conceivable that there are differences in brain function which determine such differences but that is improbable going on impossible.

Conversely, a trait such as the interpretation of emotions from facial expressions is most unlikely to be culturally determined.   We recognise emotions from facial expressions for the same reasons that our nearest primate relatives, the apes,  recognise behaviours to indicate calm, threat and so on. It is simply part of the species’ template. Unless human beings have some form of mental abnormality such as autism, they  recognise the meaning of facial expressions without consciously thinking about them. Nor do people have to be actively taught how to recognise facial expressions, although it may be that the facial expressions become associated with certain types of  behaviour as the child develops and from that information the child extrapolates from particular instances where an expression occurs to using the expression as a general signifier of an emotion rather than the response to an  event.  (The behaviour of children supposedly brought up without human contact – raised by animals of one sort or another for example – suggests that this may be the case).

But even if  the identification of expressions did occur that way it would not explain the  differences in mode of scanning which is  the most plausible cause of the difference in identification success.  There is absolutely no evidence of  cultural practices which would lead people of one racial type to behave in one way when they scanned a face and people of another racial type in another way. Indeed, it is difficult to even envisage such a cultural practice because the behaviour of scanning the faces of others  is such a natural thing, something which can be seen in very young babies.

But if the difference in scanning  is genuine how did it arise? If it is not cultural it must be genetic. A trait which was advantageous would be preferentially selected and spread. Why would it be advantageous? Perhaps the range of possible physical expression in East Asian faces is less than it is in Whites. Suppose further that the range of expression in East Asian faces is reduced around the mouth.  The most naturally efficient  thing for East Asians to do  would be to concentrate on the eyes. Natural selection would work on that trait favouring those best able to interpret from the eyes.

That leaves the question of why East Asian faces might be less expressive. If, has been suggested, the environment in which East Asians evolved was abnormally cold and as a response to the environment the East Asian face came to contain more fat and external physical facial features to guard against the cold, This may have so changed the morphology of the face that it restricted the ability of East Asians to communicate through facial expressions. It is possible that the old white jibe that “they all look alike” has a grain  of truth in it.

An alternative explanation could be some general  difference between the European and East Asian languages. Perhaps East Asian languages causes their users to move the mouth less energetically than  do European languages and this gives less non-verbal information from about the mouth area and  this causes  East Asians to concentrate on the part of the face which does give more accessible information.

Different languages use facial muscles in different ways. This affects the shape and mobility of the face which in turn will cause facial expressions to differ. These may be very subtle differences in terms of physical difference, but very significant differences in terms of perception by others. It is possible that differences in facial expressions perception vary not merely amongst racial groups but also amongst different cultures or even different groups within a population such as classes or  those with distinct accents or dialects.

Yet  another explanation may rest on the East Asian’s visual bias  as shown in their disproportionately high  strength  when dealing with non-verbal questions in IQ tests. It could be that the East Asian  concentrates on the eyes because that is the sense most important to them.

Finally, there is the possibility of  functional redundancy.

As any dog or cat owner will vouch for, animals can be incredibly sensitive to identifying human emotional states.  They do this entirely by picking up non-language signals. That ability they extend to other animals, both of their own and other species.  The ancestors of homo sapiens earlier forms of homo such as homo habilis and homo erectus must have been in much the same boat as animals.    Their language skills would be much less than that of modern man and like animals, interpretation of non-verbal signals such as facial expressions  would be much more important  to them than it would be to homo sapiens in a primitive state and vastly more important than such abilities are to men living in sophisticated societies.

As human beings evolve perhaps there is less need  for accurate interpretation of  emotions because  the reliance of human beings on one another for survival lessened as societies became ever more sophisticated – there is a big difference between living in a  tribe or band of 50-200 people where every individual is important to the survival of the tribe and living in a large city where the loss of an individual will not harm the community.

It could be that East Asians – with their superior average IQ – simply became less efficient at such social skills because they became less necessary to the type of society they naturally created. By that I do not mean that the society they created was the most advanced possible – indeed, the reality of  East Asian societies suggests that they put a block on technological and intellectual advance beyond a certain point. Rather, I am suggesting that the society their  innate behaviour created was an efficient means of managing East Asian populations and that was all it needed to maintain the society.

Possible variations in the perception of other non-verbal behaviour

Apart from interpreting facial expressions and using the overt meaning of language, individuals  have  many other ways of assessing emotion in others. Human beings definitely use  body language and the nuances of language structure (syntax, grammar)  and  responses  to the  quality of voice (pitch, timbre, speed and so on). They may also use less obvious clues such as pheromones.

This raises a problem for the Glasgow research. They have measured only one means of interpreting emotions in which one racial groups is apparently less competent than another. That is significant as afar as it goes. Where is it does not go is  into real life situations where  the whole range of verbal and non-verbal clues are available to allow the individual to make a judgement on the emotional state of others. In addition, in real-life human beings do not have to rely only on their own judgement to make such decisions, they can ask others. It could be that East Asians, while deficient compared to Whites when it comes to  facial recognition, are as effective as whites at identifying emotions,  more effective than whites or even less effective than whites when  more than facial scrutiny is employed,  with variations in ability arising from different combinations of  the various clues humans give to their emotional state, for example, facial expressions plus body language might trump facial expressions and  quality of voice in one racial group but not the other.

Language is a signifier but what does it signify?

It is one thing to call things  by the same name, quite another for the things called by the same name to be  the same thing to each individual.  To begin with there are the difficulties of exactly translating ideas from one language to another. For example, the word for disgust in Chinese may have different connotations to  the English word disgust, or the English word disgust may have  different  shades of meaning for those who have English as a first language but who come from significantly different cultures, for example, a white Englishman and white Barbadian.

It is certainly true languages are not equal in their functionality. Consider the case of the Piraha, an Amazonian tribe with several hundred members. They have been in contact with Brazilian culture for two centuries or more, yet they display some very odd traits one of which is to have no sense of number? An American linguistic anthropologist Daniel Everett has studied them from 27 years. Apart from their innumeracy, Everett reports that “the Piraha is the only people known to have no distinct words for colours.

They have no written language, and no collective memory going back more than two generations. They don’t sleep for more than two hours at a time during the night or day. Even when food is available, they frequently starve themselves and their children… They communicate almost as much by singing, whistling and humming as by normal speech. They frequently change their names, because they believe spirits regularly take them over and intrinsically change who they are. They do not believe thatoutsiders understand their language even after they have just carried on conversations with them. They have no creation myths tell no fictional stories and have no art. All of their pronouns appear to be borrowed from a neighbouring language.” (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/TPStory/LA C/20040820NUMBERS20/TPScience/ – Friday, August 20, 2004)

The Piraha’s innumeracy is particularly interesting. ‘Their lack of numbering terms and skills is highlighted in a report by Columbia University cognitive psychologist Peter Gordon that appears today in Science. Intrigued by anecdotal reports that Prof. Everett and his wife Karen had presented about the matchlessness of Piraha life, Prof. Gordon conducted a number of experiments over a three-year period. He found that a group of male tribe members — women and children were not involved because of certain cultural taboos — could not perform the most elementary mathematical operations. When faced with a line of batteries and asked to duplicate the number they saw, the men could not get beyond two or three before starting to make mistakes. They had difficulty drawing straight lines to copy a number of lines they were presented with. They couldn’t remember which of two boxes had more or less fish symbols on it, even when they were about to be rewarded for their knowledge. A significant part of the difficulty related to their number-impoverished vocabulary. Although they would say one word to indicate a single thing and another for two things, those words didn’t necessarily mean one or two in any usual sense. “It is more like ones and twos,” ‘according to Gordon.

‘Prof. Gordon said the findings are perhaps the strongest evidence for a once largely discredited linguistic theory. More than 60 years ago, amateur linguist Benjamin Lee Whorf argued that learning a specific language determined the nature and content of how you think. That theory fell into intellectual disrepute after linguist Noam Chomsky’s notions of a universal human grammar and Harvard University professor Steven Pinker’s idea of a universal language instinct became widely accepted. “The question is, is there any case where not having words for something doesn’t allow you to think about it?” Prof. Gordon asked about the Piraha and the Whorfian thesis. “I think this is a case for just that.” Prof. Everett argues that what the Piraha casedemonstrates is a fundamental cultural principle working itself out in language and behaviour.’ (Ibid)

If the Whorfian theory is correct, or at least describes a quality which profoundly affects the way the world is perceived, other behavioural divisions between the various populations of Man must exist. (The ideas of a universal grammar and a universal language instinct are not necessarily incompatible with the idea that a particular language determines thought, for there could be a basic language template that is then altered by experience. Moreover, it is conceivable that natural selection creates subtle brain differences between populations to accommodate differences in language). To any Whorfian differences in populations may be added the vast differences in cultural expression, some of which could be laid at the door of linguistic determinism of thought.

The political and social implications of the Glasgow research

Assuming the research is sound the implications are profound. The Glasgow researchers conclude “Our results question the universality of human facial expressions of emotion, highlighting their true complexity, with critical consequences for crosscultural communication and globalization.”

Just so. If human beings do not share a common understanding on such a basic level as the recognition of emotions the scope for inter-racial friction is vast. It would mean that multi-racial populations must be forever conglomerations of  racial groups estranged from one another to varying degrees. It would mean that  racial wars will  always remain a possibility and that the possibilities of such wars will be enhanced by the settlement of different races on the same territory.  It could cause  warfare between states dominated by different racial types if one or both  see those of their own racial type being, in their view, mistreated by the other state.

It could be objected that the Glasgow research does not show that there is no shared facial recognition  between the Whites and East Asians . East Asians recognised  happiness and sadness as efficiently as Whites  and even  in the case of fear, surprise, disgust and  anger they were correct two thirds of the time, (although it is telling that East Asians  made fewer mistakes when presented with East Asian faces).  The liberal searching for a light at the end of the racial difference tunnel would undoubtedly point to the fact that East Asians identified emotions in the same way as Whites most of the time and that this agreement between the races proved a common biological emotional template.

The problem with that argument is that identifying emotions wrongly  a third of the time is not a small margin of error. It would be  a severe handicap to any understanding between people of different races.

It is not that the research shows that  different races have nothing in common when it comes to recognising emotions from facial expressions,  it is the degree of difference which is impportant. An analogy could be made with IQ. Every race has some of whatever it is that  IQ tests  measure, but the distribution of IQ varies according to race with the descending hierarchy being East Asians-Whites -Blacks. (In addition, the shape of IQs varies between races with, for example,  on average  Whites  scoring higher on verbal tests and East Asians on  visual tests.)  These racial differences in IQ are extremely important at both the individual and group level because they affect the way individuals and nations perform. Low IQ equals poor life outcomes for individuals in any society and societies where the average IQ is low are invariably poor. Similarly, if substantial differences in the ability to recognise  emotions in others exist, that may have  substantial effects on how different races perform in both the organisation of societies in which they dominate and societies in which they are in a minority. The societies in which they dominate may need a structure which is inimical to intellectual  and technological development beyond a certain point. Living as part of a minority, being unable to connect on an emotional level with the majority of the people about you  population could be as much a life definer as a low IQ.

If similar racial differences exist in the ability to interpret language,  body language, tones of voice and so on the opportunities for racial misunderstanding will be multiplied and amplified.

The idea that people of different races do have considerable difficulty in not misunderstanding the intentions of other races is given credence by the strong propensity of human beings of the same race to live together when they have the choice and the  universal racial suspicion found in racially mixed societies. In short, in the real world human beings behave just as one would expect them to behave if  the findings of the Glasgow study are correct.

If the Glasgow study is replicated and more work is done demonstrating other  innate behavioural differences between races it would leave the present elite ideology of globalism in an intellectual mess . It would undermine utterly the liberal internationalist idea that  human beings are all of a piece and may be readily placed in any society.  That would not of course immediately cause the elites to throw up their hands and say we have been wrong, most grievously wrong, but over a generation or so the elite position could be changed by such academic research.

Innate racial behavioural differences are of course not the sole  explanation for racial conflict – my other three favourite candidates are the simple brute need to occupy a territory to gain physical security and enjoy its resources,  the aesthetic sense which favours those who resemble the individual exercising the sense and the sociological pressures which arise from the need of any  social animal to maintain a viable group. Nonetheless, innate differences in behaviour must rank as a powerful driver of racial conflict.

Be cautious

The research needs to be treated with caution. As yet it has not been replicated and it is based on a very small sample. However, much research in the social  and biological sciences uses similarly small samples which are treated as legitimate. Moreover, the nature of what was being tested in this research – the recognition of  facial expressions and the controlled physical measurement of the mode of scanning faces –  plausibly allowed for objective data to be extracted, while   the judgements required of the  subjects involved nothing that is obviously contentious, for they were simply being asked to interpret facial expressions and, consequently, questions of moral or political bias did not arise, as they often do in socio-biological research. But even if a participant had wanted to produce a desired outcome in their particular case,  he or she  could not have done so without the collusion of  at least of one of the two participating racial groups.

Nonetheless, the small sample size is a problem because the racial groups are from  a few societies, most notably in the case of  the East Asians where 12 come from China and one from Japan. The research needs to be replicated,  ideally with substantially larger numbers of subjects , and with subjects should be drawn from a wide range of societies to test whether the differences are stable across cultures, for example, compare Japanese-Americans with Japanese natives or  white Englishmen with white Italians.

There is also the objection that viewing still images in an artificial environment  is entirely different from interpreting facial expressions when inter-acting with others in ordinary life. This is not strictly relevant to the question of whether different races adopt different scanning behaviour or have significant differences in their success in identifying emotions. The mental processes which allow identification of emotions will operate in the same fashion in any situation . Of course, in real-life situations there will be distractions not found under laboratory circumstances which may cause facial expressions to  be missed completely or not properly heeded because of a lack of concentration.   But that would say nothing directly about either the efficiency of  recognition or the method of scanning faces.  At worst, all real life situations might show is that the White and  East Asian methods of scanning faces and interpreting emotions  is differentially affected by the distractions of real life situations. For example, it could be that concentrating on the whole face requires more concentration than simply taking information from the eyes.  But there still remains the problem I have already mentioned, namely  that in real life situations human beings use multiple clues to judge the emotional state of someone else. The ability of different racial groups to perform using multiple behavioural clues could perhaps be tested by using film of people using the full range of behavioural clues and asking research subjects to evaluate the emotional state of the  person in the film.

Further research

It would be interesting to see the same tests applied to other racial groups. As many racial genetic differences such as IQ distribution and testosterone levels place the three main human races in the order of black-white-East Asian, I think it probable that blacks would be more adept at facial expression recognition than Whites. This would plausibly fit in with their higher extroversion scores if it could be shown that ability at facial recognition is potent trigger for emotional displays. Blacks are  also probably better at interpreting other non-verbal behavioural cues.

In addition to replicating and expanding  the Glasgow team’s research, there is ample room for related work  such as studies of  the interpretation of  other non-verbal clues to emotional states such as body language and voice elements to see whether they also vary between racial groups.

Despite the slender nature of the evidence presently available, the  Glasgow research has what might be called the ring of plausibility.  There is clear evidence that there are behavioural differences between races which appear to be innate – the variation in IQ s between racial groups being the most famous – and many instances of objective physical biological difference, from the considerable  external  racial differences which anyone can see to the covert physiological differences such as sickle cell anaemia in West Coast Africans such as Nigerians.  That beings who have evolved such differences might well have followed different evolutionary paths in the matter of perceiving emotions does not seem inherently far-fetched, because, provided a behaviour has a genetic base, it will be subject to natural selection.

Notes:

1 . Cultural Confusions Show Facial Expressions are Not Universal. It is published by Current Biology which charges for its articles. A free copy of the draft report can be found at http://www.psy.gla.ac.uk/docs/download.php?type=PUBLS&id=1201
2 The research paper uses Western Caucasian for White.
3 Thirteen Western Caucasian (13 European, 7 females) and 13 East Asian (12 Chinese, 1 Japanese, 8 females) observers participated (mean age = 24 years 5 months; 23 years 2 months, respectively).
3. To conclude that the genes have  no part to play in determining behaviour would imply that all  behaviour is the product of mind and that mind is somehow divorced from the physical body and consequently not subject to natural selection mediated through the genes.