Sunday, February 25, 2007

Thomas H. Naylor writings on Race

Thomas H. Naylor of the Second Vermont Republic movement has this tirade response_to_smear_campaign about the involvement of Neo-Confederates in the Second Vermont Republic.

Well let's review what Naylor has to say about race in his book, "Downsizing the U.S.A.," Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1997.

For one thing, Naylor sees ethnic and racial differences a reason for dissolution or states rights or devolution, he is a little vague here. On pages 210-211, he writes as follows:

"Although the American states may have once shared a number of common characteristics, this is much less true today than ever before. What do heavily industrialized states such as New York, New Jersey, Ohio, and Pennsylvania have in common with predominately rural states such as Maine, Vermont, Mississippi, and West Virginia? The South is the fastest growing region in the nation demographically and economically.

Although African Americans represent only 12.6 percent of the American population, fourteen cities with populations over have black majorities. Detroit and Washington, D.C., are 75.7 percent and 65.8 percent black, respectively. Vermont, on the other hand, with fewer than two thousand blacks in the entire state, has the lowest percent African American population among the fifty states. The Mississippi Delta and the so-called Black Belt of the South have virtually nothing in common with the San Francisco Bay Area.

A dozen American cities with populations over one hundred thousand have Hispanic majorities, even though only 10.2 percent of the national population is Hispanic. Miami leads the way with a 62.5 percent Hispanic population. Over 25 percent of the population of Texas is Hispanic. Not surprisingly, many Texans now identify more closely with Mexico than was previously the case. California is expected to have a Hispanic majority during the first quarter of the twenty-first century. And Los Angeles County will have one by the end of this century.

Despite all the hype about the merits of multicultural pluralism, our cities are different and are states are different -- very different. This is not a statement of racial or ethnic superiority of one state or city in comparison to others, but rather an acknowledgment that the problems of Houston and Miami bear little resemblance to those of Burlington, Vermont or Laramie, Wyoming."

Well this begins to explain why Naylor has fled to Vermont from Richmond. With Vermont only being 0.6% African American and only 1.1% Hispanic he feels his isn't likely to end up in a majority minority city. This "only" percentage is not going to have him in a majority minority municipality. What is the point of Naylor statement "Although African Americans represent only 12.6 percent of American population, fourteen cities with populations over one hundred thousand have black majorities." It is a warning from Naylor, the overall percentage maybe low, but that doesn't mean you (a white "you") will not end up in a majority African American city.

Note should be taken that Vermont is flagged by Naylor as being different from other states because it is white.

Then there is Naylor's Reconquista illusions about Hispanics.

But the conclusion really says where Naylor is coming from where states and cities are "very different" because of race. That is race makes different states and cities "others" because of racial differences. To Naylor Race is a defining and dominating determining element necessary to make cities and states "very different." Which Naylor thinks the "hype ... of multicultural pluralism" doesn't overcome.

On pages 57-58 Naylor sees integration as being a failure. Naylor tries to couch his critique of integration and civil rights in terms of what it hasn't accomplished but in certain ways he betrays himself.

In the opening paragraph he states, "Since the 1960s the official policy of the U.S. government has been the forced racial integration of public schools, colleges and universities, public accommodations, restaurants, stores, and more recently the workplace." Segregation was forced in some states, with state laws mandating it. Also, who is being forced? Most Americans go to stores, restaurants, workplaces, etc. that are integrated, and don't feel forced, that they have to go to integrated places against their will, because they aren't segregationists. Being forced is the terminology of a segregationist.

Then Naylor states, "Although this commitment to racial integration once enjoyed broad-based public support, today an increasing number of whites, blacks, and Hispanics have either become ambivalent or hostile to forced integration." The fact is that the overwhelming majority of Americans of all races support integration. "an increasing number" doesn't really say anything, is it 48 people increasing to 79 people? There is a growing awareness that integration is perhaps only the first step to solving racial issues in America, is that the "ambivalent" that Naylor lumps with "hostile"?

However, towards the end Naylor calls for the end of integration as a Federal policy and law, stating:

"The simple truth is that after thirty years of top-down policies aimed at forcing blacks and whites to be in community with each other, racism and defacto segregation are still alive and well in urban America and elsewhere. Although there is increasing evidence that the quality of life has improved for many African Americans in the 1990s, on balance blacks are still poorer, less well educated, less healthy, and more likely to end up in jail than their white neighbors. Is it realistic to assume that it is possible for our government to force community on blacks and whites, given the history of the relationship between these two races in American -- slavery, emancipation, forced segregation, economic discrimination, and thirty years of paternalistic, top-down government programs? More creative solutions are needed? Has integration disempowered minorities, diluting their influence over their communities and implying that every solution to their problems always lies in the hands of the majority-backed government?"

Naylor suggests that integration has been a failure, though as a question. Naylor does ask for "creative solutions are needed" as alternatives to integration, though he doesn't say what these "creative solutions" would be, but given that he sees integration as a failure, these solutions involve an end to "forced" integration. Arguments against integration in the 1950s argued that it would be harmful to African Americans.

Why Naylor came to Vermont is explained on pages 48 to 52. Richmond is portrayed as a city overcome by crime, African American crime, and angry African Americans. Naylor says that Richmond "was in a death spiral." Naylor's white flight goes all the way to Vermont. Again this white flight is drapped in terms of solicitude for African Americans. It also explains why Naylor is concerns that even though a minority group might "only" be a certain percent there are majority minority cities.

Naylor feels that he isn't racist, because he isn't some raging segregationists, but he is of the other racist tradition of white paternalism.

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