Catholic Author Examines Purpose Of Integration, White Flight, Suburbs
Back in 2004, Dr. E. Michael Jones addressed the Catholic Association of Scientists and Engineers in Greenbelt, Maryland.
In this speech, he examined and expanded upon the ideas in his book, “The Slaughter of Cities”.
It’s a great speech, here is the transcript:
Dr. E Michael Jones: I guess it’s appropriate that I am speaking to Catholic engineers because I am going to be speaking about “social engineering” and the impact that it had on housing in general, but also the Catholic ethnic neighborhoods that many of us grew up in during the period following World War II.
In the 1930 edition of his famous book “Behaviorism”, which first appeared in 1913 when Europe was about to dissolve into war, John B. Watson tried to relay any fears his readers might have concerning “social engineering”. “First of all” he assured them, “we all must admit that social experimentation is going on at a very rapid rate at present, at an alarmingly rapid rate for comfortable, conventional souls. As an example of social experimentation, we have war.”
Since the big three foundations which funded Watson also funded Gunnar Myrdal’s book, it should come as no surprise that “The American Dilemma”, a huge book of over one thousand pages in length, should advance the cause of social engineering under the cover of war.
Its message is simple: human nature is changeable and will be changed by “social engineering”.
The immediate impetus for social engineering was brought on by the War with Fascism, and enabled by the defeat of the isolationists whose ideas were based on outmoded ideas of race, but its effects would continue after the war. In fact, the main thrust of social experimentation would take place after the War.
The race issue in this regard was the thin edge of a very large wedge that would soon have enormous repercussions on where people would live, where their children would go to school, and other aspects of life. America, according to Myrdal, needed solve its race problem before it could assume its role as a leader of the coalition against Fascism and then the leader of the new internationalist world order following Fascisms defeat.
Myrdal’s vision of the future is both frank and chilling. This is a direct quote from “The American Dilemma”:
“From the point of view of social science, this means among other things that social engineering will be increasingly demanded. Many things for that a long period have predominately been a matter of individual adjustment will become more and more determined by political decision and public regulation. We are entering an era where fact finding and scientific theories of causal relations will be seen as instrumental in planning controlled social change. The piece will bring nothing but problems, one mounting upon another, and consequently new urgent tasks for social engineering. The American social scientists, because of the New Deal and the War, is already acquiring familiarity with planning and practical action. He will never again be given the opportunity to build up so disinterested social science.
Social Engineering of the coming epoch will be nothing but the drawing from the practical conclusion from the teachings of social science that human nature is changeable and that human deficiencies and unhappiness are in a large degree preventable. We have today in social science, a greater trust in the improvability of man and society as we have ever had since the Enlightenment.”
Now, Gunnar Myrdal began work on “The American Dilemma” in 1939. The Carnegie Corporation had chosen him to head the project because he was a Swede, which meant somewhat outside of the polarized racial situation in America at that time. In addition to being an outsider, Myrdal was someone who had done work with his feminist wife Alva on family and population, which the Carnegie Foundation found congenial. He was also chosen because he was a Socialist and as such, he was part of the common front alliance with the Communists against Fascism at the time. Alger Hiss, who was subsequently shown to be a Communist spy, was prominent in the Carnegie Corporation at the time.
The Carnegie people contacted Gunnar Myrdal in August of 1937. After turning them down once, Myrdal finally decided to become involved with the study of which he had no experience. The first memorandum on the planning of the research to be undertaken was then submitted to the Carnegie Foundation on January 28th, 1939.
The Nazis invaded Poland eight months later, in April of 1940 they invaded Denmark and Norway, and at this point, Gunnar Myrdal, the Swedish patriot, left the United States. In the introduction of the book, Myrdal explains that he left the book “in the capable hands of Samuel A. Stouffer” whom he identifies as a sociologist at the University of Chicago.
What Myrdal does not tell us is that in handing the project over to Stouffer, he was placing the project in the hands of the American Psychological warfare establishment. That meant in the hands of the man who probably wrote most of the book, Louis Wirth, the sociologist from the University of Chicago.
If you go to the University of Chicago archives, you will find there that Louis Wirth admits to writing eight chapters of “The American Dilemma“. I think he wrote more than that, but I think there were other people who wrote it as well. There are long chapters on the need for contraception among negroes in the south. Frank Notestein is mentioned in part of the credits of the book, I think Frank Notestein wrote this part because he was an expert on population control. He was a demographer at Princeton University, the teacher of John D. Rockefeller III, who was the founder, a few years later, of the Population Council.
In other words, it seems pretty clear given the evidence that it was physically impossible for Gunnar Myrdal to write a thousand page book on a topic, which he admittedly knew nothing about, in a period of what would have to be eight months. Since he left the country in 1940, the book came out in 1943.
So at this point, it seems appropriate the shift our attention to Louis Wirth, the sociologist whom I think was basically the prime author of “The American Dilemma“.
On April 10, 1941, which is to say eight months before America would enter the war, Louis Wirth presented a scholarly paper on the present position of minorities in the United States at a sociology symposium. Wirth wrote, “The newer European immigrants coming at the time of the greatest industrial expansion are overwhelmingly concentrated in the larger industrial cities, and retain, to a much greater degree, the compactness of their ethnic communities. In some cases, their colonies in the cities of the United States exceed their numbers in the largest cities of their respective mother countries”.
Louis Wirth was a sociologist from the University of Chicago, which is another way of saying he was in the psychological warfare establishment, which at this moment the nation’s history meant keeping tabs on America’s ethnics, which meant the recent immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe, but the Irish as well.
As the inclusion of the Irish indicated, the common denominator among these groups was not geographical, it was religious.
Since virtually every group in the United States was an ethnic group, including groups which were involved with spying on other groups, Wirth had to explain why some groups posed more of a threat to American security than others.
To do this, he had to get into religion. A quote, again from the same talk:
“In the face of the numerical, as well as economic, social, and political dominance of Protestant groups, the Catholic population may be regarded, and certainly thinks of itself, as a distinct minority. Especially since in some communities, Catholicism is also associated with Irish, Italian, Polish, or certain other ethnic or national origin groups.
Whereas the internal division and lack of cohesion of the Protestant denominations detracts from their capacity to play the role of the dominant group effectively, the relative internal unity and concentration of settlement of the Catholic groups in the urban centers increases their capacity to act collectively and develop an appropriate group consciousness.”
Although there is no indication that he read it, Wirth’s analysis of the ethnic situation is virtually identical with Brand Blanshard’s analysis of Bridesburg, the Polish neighborhood in Philadelphia, which was written during World War I, when the intelligence community of that era had similar concerns. The Committee for Public Information, the C.P.I., run by George Creel.
The unspoken assumption behind Wirth’s analysis, a view which would find expression in Brand’s brother Paul Blanshard’s book when it came out in the late 1940s, is that Catholics had a congenital weakness for Fascism.
In fact, both Blanshard and Bertrand Russell, whom he praises in “American Freedom and Catholic Power“, would claim that Catholicism and Fascism were politically indistinguishable.
This was of special concern to the intelligence community because, in Wirth’s words, “The totalitarian nations of Europe have substantial representation of their subjects or former subjects in the United States”, a fact Wirth emphasizing in light of their extended concept of nationality.
Once again, war was creating “ethnophobia” in the intelligence community, which worried about the descendents of these foreign born residents who “presumably are at least in part subject to the ideologies of their respective mother communities“.
Once again, the intelligence community was trying to disrupt communications among subject peoples whose populations had increased significantly in the intervening twenty years.
One instance of this, which I mention in the book, is Poletown in Detriot, one of the Palmer Raids during the 1920s right after World War I, went to the Polish Union Organization in Poletown and they found all sorts of literature, but no one could read Polish. So there was no ability to know what these people were saying to each other, and that alone posed a threat to the people who wanted to know what was going on.
According to Wirth, the numbers of foreign ethnics were impressive. This again, is a quote from Wirth:
“Of our total foreign white stock of 38,720,593, more than 1/6 is German and nearly 1/8 is Italian. If we note further that the Italians have the highest percentage of any of the major immigrants unable to speak English, fifteen percent, we have further reason to fear their exclusive susceptibility to news and propaganda purveyed by their foreign language press, which in part has been subsidized by agencies of the mother countries governments.
But the ethnic facts become even more worrisome when one considers the fact that most of these ethnics belong to one religious denomination. The change in the ethnic makeup of the country has brought with it a corresponding shift in the religious affiliation of the American population, making the nation now over 1/3 Roman Catholic.”
As if that weren’t bad enough, many of these people dominate “certain highly skilled occupations in essential defense industries” in fact, “some of the key skilled jobs are virtually monopolized by certain groups whose national origin makes them suspect.
“Whose national origin makes them suspect…”
Now, Wirth never gets around the explaining the criteria whereby he established which nations are ipso facto suspect, but the fact that he included both Ireland and Poland on the list indicates it wasn’t just countries at war with the United States. In fact, the only thing which the Irish and Polish, who viewed each other as members of mutually alien races at the time, the only thing they had in common other than American citizenship was that they were Catholic.
It was a commonality which existed only in the eyes of the people who considered them as a threat, and certainly not in the minds of the Poles and Irish themselves. The tension between the Polish laity and their priest, and a largely uncomprehending Irish hierarchy in the American Catholic Church was so intense, that it was the driving force behind the formation of the schismatic Polish National Church.
The theory of the Triple Melting Pot states that religion supersedes country of origin as the source of ethnicity in the United States after the third generation.
If so, than Catholics in America had no ethnic identity at the time Wirth was writing about them. The only identity they had was in the eyes of the class which perceived them as a threat.
The Catholic ethnics were particularly vulnerable in this regard. They were regarded as a group by the people who wanted to attack them, but they could not look beyond the bounds of national origin to prepare a pan-Catholic defense, assuming they were even aware of what was going on at the time.
Since psychological warfare demanded stealth to ensure its effectiveness, it was clear they weren’t going to figure out for a long time. Certainly not when the war was going on and the normal channels of communication had been shut down due to national security.
So at the same time that the German ethnics were being called to assert their patriotism and fight in a European war, often as in the case of Italy and Germany, against their countries of origin, the Psychological Warfare establishment had targeted them as a “fifth column”, and therefore fair game for the panoply of whatever black operations the intelligence community thought they deserved.
What we have here, I have to say at this point, is a complete violation of any notion of citizenship here.
It’s clear that there are certain “citizens” who are not citizens, and it’s clear that there are certain citizens who have the right to interfere in their lives, surreptitiously, with full government support.
Since Myrdal’s book “The American Dilemma” originated at the instigation of the Carnegie Corporation and since it ended up in the hands of Louis Wirth and Samuel Stouffer, it was probably a project of the Psychological Warfare establishment from its inception.
In “The Science of Coercion”, Christopher Simpson makes clear that the arsenal of the Psychological Warfare establishment included black operation: “The clandestine targeting of the US population in addition to that of foreign countries for psychological operations”.
What Simpson doesn’t specify is which groups got targeted, but that gap can be filled largely by investigating Louis Wirth’s wartime activities.
Now, who was Louis Wirth? Louis Wirth was born in Gemünden, a town near Frankfurt, it’s in Germany, on August 28th, 1897 to a family of Jewish cattle merchants who had lived in the area, in fact in the same house, for four centuries. Wirth, the adult sociologists, would later go on to scorn Gemünden as the paradigmatic example of a narrow, provincial small town.
There is some indication that he felt the same way while growing up because when a relative, who had immigrated to the United States, offered to bring Wirth over to further his education, Wirth leapt at the chance. After excelling in the public school system in Omaha, Nebraska, Wirth won a scholarship the University of Chicago where he quickly became politically engaged by joining the many Marxist student organizations which were active on campus during World War I.
Wirth’s daughter claims that his attachment to Marxism “seems never to have been very deep”, but then she conveniently leaves out the references to Stalin and Lenin in his mature writings which would contradict that claim.
Like many Jews of his generation, Wirth assimilated with an alacrity which must have caused consternation to his relatives in Germany. In 1923, he married Mary Bolton, a Baptist from Kentucky who had gone to the University of Chicago, which had been founded by another Baptist, John D. Rockefeller. In marrying her, Wirth was the first member of his family to marry a non-Jew.
Wirth’s assimilationist inclinations and principles like those of his wife partly derived from their common reaction against “dogmatism and provincial ethnocentrism”. Their two daughters were to be “encouraged in agnosticism with audible atheistic overtones at the time they were to acquire a generalized, minority ethnic identification” That’s from Louis Wirth’s daughter’s introduction to the book.
Given his Marxist politics, his repudiation of traditional religious belief, and his assimilationist attitude toward ethnicity, it is not surprising that Wirth would be drawn to the internationalist cause during the days preceding World War II.
Like his New York counterpart, Robert Moses, also a Jew, Wirth saw ethnicity as retrograde, and something which was to be replaced by faith in something rational and enlightened.
The irony of course is that in espousing the enlightenment, Wirth was also espousing the views of the dominant ethnic group in the United States at that time.
In assimilating, he did pretty much the same thing. Not repudiating ethnicity, but rather exchanging one ethnicity for another.
By doing what he did, Wirth endowed ethnicity with a certain instrumental value. It was, as Lenin and Stalin believed, subordinate to class.
In this instance, the American ruling class, which had its own ethnically homogenous nature at the time. Unlike the Nativists and people like Henry Ford, the East Coast W.A.S.P. elite was perfectly willing to adopt Jews into their class if the adoptee was willing the espouse the same enlightenment philosophy they espoused.
That meant, espousing Stalin’s policy of “ethnic cleansing”.
Wirth, like Samuel Stouffer, a University of Chicago sociologist and as such, another member of the Psychological Warfare establishment, Wirth was a seminal thinker for the O.S.S. and the O.W.I. during the war. It was the Office of Strategic Services and the Office of War Information.
It was in this capacity that he came up with the policy that would eventually inform the two crucial Supreme Court decisions ratifying social engineering in 1954. Berman vs. Parker, which was about housing, and Brown vs. School Board, which was the school desegregation decision.
The policy he proposed would come to be known as “integration” but in reality the policy he articulated is what Lenin and Stalin would have called “the Soviet solution the nationalities question”.
If the continuing existence of ethnic enclaves constituted bad news from Wirth’s point of view, there was good news too. As usual in moments like this, Wirth adverts to the future in general, and the future of social engineering in particular.
He write “if science has demonstrated anything, it has shown conclusively that these traits are subject to human intervention and they can be changed. The possibility of the ultimately assimilability of ethnic groups is thus beyond doubt.”
But even if this is true, Americans still need models to show how it is to be done, and it is in coming up with these models for solving our nationalities problem that Wirth is forced to show his political hand.
Again, this is the document that I mentioned. It’s in the Wirth papers at the University of Chicago but his daughter did not include it in the collected writings. Once you hear it, I think you will know why:
“In recent years, the Russian experiment is regarded by many as, not only at least as enlightened as our own, but as much more relevant to the minority problems of Europe and the backward nations of the world. It is generally agreed among students of the problem that the Soviet nationalities and minorities policy represents one of the most outstanding achievements of the revolution in the period of reconstruction, and that it holds great promise for the settlement of minority problems in the upcoming peace. The Soviet government, under Lenin’s leadership and with Stalin as komissar for the nationalities, proceeded immediately after the Bolshevik Revolution to inaugurate a policy which accords to the best scientific knowledge and the most enlightened moral principles.”
I guess that’s why she dropped it out of the book…
And what did Wirth have in mind when he praised Stalin’s handling of the nationalities question in the mid 1940s?
The answer depends on which “Stalin” Wirth is talking about. If it’s the Stalin of the earlier period, in other words “Stalin’s writings”, Wirth is talking about assimilation.
In other words, people will identify class as their group description. Once they identify with class, they will abandon ethnicity.
That happened in the United States under Wirth’s direction, the only difference was that it was a different class. It wasn’t the working class or the proletariat, it was the “middle class”.
The engine for creating middle class people was to come to the suburbs. You left an ethnic neighborhood, you left your ethnic identity behind in the neighborhood, and when you moved to the suburbs you become a generic, American, “white guy”.
If Wirth is talking about Stalin’s deeds in the mid 1940s, which is when he wrote that document, he’s talking about something more sinister and he is talking about “ethnic cleansing”.
According to Pole, who authors the book on Stalin’s career as an ethnic cleanser, Stalin’s regime pursued ethnic cleansing as a part of its overall security policy. That began in 1937 when Stalin deported Soviet Koreans to Central Asia. In 1941, he deported the Volga Germans to Siberia. In 1943, he deported the Kalmyks from their home just west of Astrakhan to Kazakhstan.
The 1937 deportation of the Koreans had been kept secret, but the deportation of the Volga Deutsche and the Kalmyks were officially announced when their ethnic Soviet republics were abolished by Stalin.
Since Wirth was working as one of the leading theoreticians of our military intelligence establishment at the time, it is unlikely that he was unaware of what was going on.
Wirth would eventually write at least eight chapters of “The American Dilemma”, while at the same time writing reports for the O.S.S. and the O.W.I.
In addition to spying on the ethnic population of Chicago, which is where he was based, Wirth also wrote up a report for the O.W.I. on the famous race riot of Detroit in 1943, a report which dovetails completely with the promotion of social engineering on racial matters which suffused “The American Dilemma”. This letter was written by Clyde Hart, Wirth’s boss at the O.W.I:
“Our position has been that the race problem is not one to be dealt with in the main by informational programs. It requires rather, direct sensible readjustments of the kind you suggest. In housing, recreation, and health facilities, transportation, employing practices, recruiting policies and programs, army camp arrangements, policing, ect.”
In other words, we’re not going to talk about it, we’re not going to debate it, we are simply going to change the living arrangements under which most people live in this country.
These two issues, the behavior of negroes from the South and ethnics from the North, as it impacted the war effort, were really two sides of the same coin. What Lenin and Stalin would have called “America’s nationalities problem”.
Since the Carnegie Corporation had proposed Myrdal’s study in 1937, the nationalities issue had been on the establishment’s mind for some time before America’s entry into the war. But this issue was given new urgency with America’s entry.
Suddenly, the country which had lately suffered huge unemployment was now faced with a labor shortage. Total mobilization required unprecedented numbers of men to staff the armed forces, but more importantly, it required even more men to staff the factories that would build the armaments that those men needed to defeat Fascism.
America had traditionally solved its labor problems by unlimited immigration, but that source of labor ended in 1924 when the Nativists put immigration quotas into place. Now that the war was on, that group of people wasn’t available anyways.
That meant that there were only two sources of untapped labor in the United States: women and negroes from the South.
The people in Chicago whose “national origin made them suspect” continued living in their ethnic neighborhoods after the war ended.
But with Fascism defeated, the same people who were concerned about their loyalty before could now devote their efforts to engineering them full-time.
As Wirth had indicated in his letter and throughout “The American Dilemma”, social engineering would be focused on race and housing.
Integration was defined by Louis Wirth and ratified by the Supreme Court in the Berman and Brown decisions, and that meant first and foremost solving America’s nationalities problem, and that meant bringing ethnic neighborhoods under control.
Once the War was over and the danger of German National Socialism and Italian Fascism receded, the same groups who were living in the same impenetrable ethnic neighborhoods in Chicago began to be indentified more and more by their religion, and less and less by their country of origin.
Even as early as 1941, Wirth was concerned about a corresponding shift in religious affiliation of the American population which created a nation over 1/3 Roman Catholic.
In the parlance of Psychological Warfare, “ethnic” would increasingly come to mean Catholic, especially in the period following the War.
In the ethnically balkanized cities of the North, it was a group of people who represented the greatest obstacle to Wirth’s sense of integration. This group much more so than the challenge posed by de-jure segregation in the politically and economically insignificant South.
In 1947, an ex-minister, ex-socialist, and social adventurer known by the name of Paul Blanshard went to the library to do research on Catholic medical practices and was appalled at what he read. So he wrote an article in “The Nation” expressing that, which found an immediate huge response, and so decided to write a book and two years later, his book “American Freedom and Catholic Power” appeared.
This book was saluted by the entire W.A.S.P. establishment in America. People like William O’Douglas, John Dewey, McGeorge Douglas, and the American Puritan scholar Perry Miller all endorsed the book.
Blanshard in his book mentions Catholic neighborhood as the source of Catholic political power, Catholic nuns as the basis for the Catholic school system, without which the Catholic school system would collapse because Catholics could not afford to pay their teachers. He also mentioned feminism as a way to liberating Catholic nuns, and he also mentioned Catholic fertility. In other words, Catholic sexual practices.
He mentions in the book, Bertrand Russell’s greatest fear was that America is going to become a Catholic country and they are going to do it by the numbers, which is to say by demographic increase.
All of the projects which Myrdal talks about are ratified in Paul Blanshard’s books, it’s just now that we are no are longer talking about Germans and Italians. We are talking about this whole group of Catholic ethnics that pose a problem. The problem of Americanization, the problem of the subverting of the America as these people understand it.
If you read “The Nation” at the time, where Paul Blanshard first published his articles, there are letters to the editor about the Hollywood Production Code, how this is an un-American thing, since the Catholics had veto power over films that get produced, and also about the fact that Catholics are preventing the sale of contraceptives in places like Connecticut and Massachusetts. There was a referendum to legalize contraception in Massachusetts that was defeated by Catholics.
So the solution to all of these problems would be housing. Changing the housing patters, changing the way Americans live, as a way of breaking up the political power of Catholics.
According to Myrdal, or whoever wrote his book, “The general structure of this complex problem is clear cut and ready for social engineering. The strategic time for this planning work is now (1943). After the War, a great increase and private and public funding is likely since housing construction has been moribund for several years and popular needs seemed about to cause a building boom when the War started and diverted the construction industry’s efforts into the field of defense housing. Also, the war will leave in its wake a tremendous need for public works and private investment to prevent a new and more devastating world depression. To be maximumly useful, this housing boom should be planned in advance.”
I am speaking now in what was an experimental community of the New Deal, a type of housing. It reminded me, when I drove in here, of the early low-income housing in Philadelphia. The low income, low rise, low income housing that was built during the 1930s to alleviate the fact that nothing got built or repaired beginning in 1929. There was a huge housing shortage.
This is, as you probably figured, not the direction the government took in terms of housing. The direction the government took in terms of housing. The direction the government took was in a word, Levittown.
The Levitt brothers had been in the housing construction business. The sons of Mr. Levitt had become CV’s in the Pacific during World War II and while they were there, they learned the techniques of the mass production of the house. Similar to what Henry Ford did to the automobile, this was the mass production of the house. Which meant, let’s say, we’ll lay two hundred concrete pads in one day, no basements in these houses. How do you do that? What are the logistics? What do you need to do that?
That was eventually the beginning of Levittown, and Levittown became the model for similar suburban developments all across the country. Levittown, at the time, was conceived of as the place where the returning G.I. would live.
William H. Whyte wrote his book “The Organization Man” about the new worker after World War II. The Organization Man, the man who worked for corporations that were national corporations, that became a sort of interchangeable part in a national chain of operations.
A large part of his book is about Park Forest, which is the suburb just south of Chicago, which was the Chicago version of “Levittown”. He devoted a lot of time to writing about this and in the course of it, pretty much explained the purpose of this in ethnic terms. One of the people he interviewed in Park Forest said, “You won’t find any Polish Renaissance furniture in Park Forest”.
In other words, being “Polish” is what you were when you were in Chicago. But when you moved to the Park Forest you became part of the “middle class”, part of the “organization men”, and you became a “white guy”.
You became the “generic American” and you lost your ethnic identity.
That was the carrot, if you want to talk about it. The stick, in this regard, was black migration.
No, it would not have worked, I don’t believe, if they had simply tried to lure these Catholic ethnics to the suburbs with low mortgage rates and hundred dollar down payments of the type that Levitt was proposing. It would not have worked.
The real engine for the migration, the dispersal of Catholic ethnics to the suburbs, was black migration. In other words, the huge numbers of black sharecroppers that were coming from Mississippi to Chicago, or North Carolina to Philadelphia, would be brought into the older neighborhood, which were the Catholic ethnic neighborhoods, and they exerted pressure on the people living there. That was the stick, Levittown was the carrot.
Between the two of them, over a period of twenty to thirty years, the cities were simply emptied out and to a large extent destroyed.
It varied depending on the city; Detroit is probably the worst in this regard. If you go to Detroit, you will see large stretches of simply empty space where there used to be houses, burned out houses.
If you go to St. Hyacinth’s Parish, which is along Shane Avenue, the Polish corridor in Detroit, what you will see is the black migration advancing up the corridor and the Poles retreating step by step, back away, and the houses being burned down.
It actually became a custom in Detroit to burn houses down. It’s called “Devil’s Night”, which is right before Halloween. Some people speculate it was the people burning their own houses down because they had lost all their value.
Detroit is probably the most destroyed cities of those I talked about, Philadelphia probably comes in second.
Chicago is probably the least destroyed city of all those, because Mayor Daley simply took control of racial migration. He took control of it by creating high rise projects right next to the Dan Ryan Expressway.
The Dan Ryan Expressway was a barrier that would keep the newly arrived black people on one side of the road so that Bridgeport, which is where he lived, would remain basically a “white” ethnic neighborhood.
No city was unaffected by this. People would ask me, why didn’t you do Cincinnati? Why didn’t you do Buffalo? And so on, and so forth.
Well, because this book is already seven hundred pages long and someone else can write that story. But basically, it happened across the board because it was orchestrated from Washington, it was centrally organized.
Now, what you notice when you start reading the documents is that during World War II, the documents are O.W.I., O.S.S. documents. After World War II, we still have spies in the neighborhood, except they are not working for these organizations.
The spies are not the American Friends Service Committee and the A.C.L.U. The American Friends Service Committee and the A.C.L.U. would hire people who spoke Polish or Serbian and send them into bars on the Southside of Chicago to find out what the steel workers were talking about.
Does this qualify as a black operation? Paying people to spy on American citizens?
So you have at this point, basically, the privatization of ethnic cleansing.
By the late 1950s, the classic period of Urban Renewal was coming to a close. The classic study of Urban Renewal was a book called “The Urban Villagers” by Herbert Gans, about the destruction of the West End in Boston.
Gans was on the faculty at Harvard, and worked for the Urban Renewal agency in Boston, and he also lived in the West End, and so he had a sense of what was going on from both sides of the picture.
He saw that the official explanation was not the real explanation. The official explanation was always that “it was blighted”, but then there was no objective criteria for blight.
In the case of Philadelphia, “blight” often meant affordable housing. There were houses built in Philadelphia called “Father, Son, Holy Ghost” houses, with one room on top of another. These houses were what you would call affordable housing.
My mother, during the Depression, lived on a house on a big street. There were big houses on big streets and little houses on little streets. Her family paid $50 a month for a big house on a big street, the house behind them was a little house and they paid $15 a month rent. So that’s another word for affordable housing.
It was suddenly declared blighted housing, so it was all torn down and so as a result, there was a huge lack of affordable housing. Which meant that the people who ordinarily would have gone to live there, the lowest rung of the economic ladder, was now forced to take housing away from other people, always, invariably, in contiguous neighborhoods.
It was the way racial migration moved, it always moved a block at a time. It moved north on Broad Street in Philadelphia. That meant that the Irish ethnic neighborhoods in North Philadelphia were under constant threat by this population pressure. They kept increasing the more housing was torn down.
Gans makes clear, after looking at this thing, what the real program was. People cite Gans book all the time, but they never seem to cite these passages:
“It is the local agency that selects the area to be proposed for action and in most communities, the areas physical condition is a necessary but not sufficient condition. What seems to happen is that neighborhoods come to be described as slums if they are inhabited by residents who, for a variety of reasons, indulge in overt and visible behavior considered undesirable by the majority of the community.
The community image of the area then gives rise to feelings that something should be done, and subsequently, the area is proposed for renewal. Consequently, the planning reports that are written to justify renewal dwell as much on social as on physical criteria, and are filled with data intended to show the prevalence of anti social or pathological behavior in the area. The implication is that the area itself causes such behavior and should therefore be redeveloped”
This was a key tenet of environmentalism or behavioralism.
In other words, the environment creates the man.
The ultimate goal here, according to Gans, was to break up ethnic ghettos. This is a quote again from his book:
“The relocation staff’s lack of interest in social criteria of housing choice was based partly on a desire, implicit in much of planning and housing ideology, to break up ethnic ghettos in the belief that this would encourage people like the West Enders to adopt “middle class” standards and behavior patterns.”
Moreover, the “middle class” values embedded on relocation procedures assumed that nuclear families were self sufficient and independent, consequently relocation officials failed to see the ties that existed between such families. They did not know of the existence of family circles and could not comprehend the desire of West Enders to be near relatives.”
That’s the frankest statement I’ve heard from someone from the inside about the reason that these neighborhood were destroyed. Blight was an excuse, breaking up ethnic ghettos became the real reason.
The situation in Philadelphia reached a kind of climax in 1963, it was kind of a climax across the board. This was right around the time of the great Civil Rights March in Washington when Martin Luther King gave his “I Have a Dream” speech.
The Quakers in Philadelphia, who had founded a group called “Friends Suburban Housing” in 1957, the purpose of which was to move black families into neighborhoods, moved the Horace Baker family into a neighborhood named Folcroft. Using a white buyer, the white person bought the house and the black family shows up in the house.
The people in Folcroft, which was a southwestern suburb of Philadelphia, had already been ethnically cleansed largely from southwest Philadelphia. They had probably already lost the biggest investment of their lives, which was their house. They probably had lost money because of blockbusting. Now they had moved into the suburbs.
The deal according to the new, sort of unspoken constitution after World War II, was that if you were a white guy and you moved into the suburbs, you were safe from racial incursion and you could live in peace.
Well, that got violated again here and there was a riot in Folcroft.
Folcroft was a largely Catholic area and so there was a lot of consternation in Catholic circles about Catholic racism.
No discussion whatsoever of the fact that the Quakers bought the house, because no one knew that the Quakers bought the house.
John McGreevy, a professor at Notre Dame, has written a book called “Parish Boundaries”, which is a book about the ethnic neighborhood, the change of the ethnic neighborhood. He mentions Folcroft in his book, he does not mention the fact that the Quakers bought the house. The Quakers are simply not mentioned in his book.
Now, the Quaker archives are full of documents that talk about all of the operations they were doing. The Quakers archives are full of documents about how they brought Martin Luther King to Chicago in 1966.
I asked Professor McGreevy why that was missing from his book, and he said he had heard a rumor to that effect but he had not pursued that rumor.
So what you have here is, the history of the Catholic ethnic neighborhood is the story of King Kong without the monkey. In other words, you’ve got all these people running down the street, but nobody is chasing them. There is no monkey is chasing them.
Well, why are they running down the street then?
Well, there must be something wrong with the people. They must be either crazy, or something must be wrong with them.
That is precisely where McGreevy’s book ends. He ends by saying “acts of contrition are necessary”, implying that the Catholics are the ones who have to come up with the act of contrition. No implication that the Quakers might have to do this, or any other group might do it.
I’m saying that this is the real story of assimilation in America. That it has been a story of covert “social engineering”, which is another word for covert ethnic warfare, and that this as much as anything else has led to the destruction of Catholic communities, it led to the disruption of the transmission of the Catholic way of life, and it has led to the powerless state of the Catholic Church in the country right now.
Thank you very much.
Dr. Francis J. Kelly: Thank you Dr. Jones, can you take any questions now?
Dr. Jones: Sure, I would be happy to take questions.
Question: Isn’t the current Catholic belief is quite different from what it used to be? It used to be sort of ethno-centric, Catholics favored other Catholics, a lot of these other groups. Irish favored other Irish, Poles favored other Poles. Well, I think modern Catholics would see this as sort of wrong or selfish. Well, isn’t this real Christianity?
Dr. Jones: You’re absolutely right, a Catholic would be first to say “Well “Catholic” means universal”, and so therefore any type of concern for the “proper order of charity”, would be considered “selfishness”, or “rascism”, or “ethnocentrism”.
The “proper order of charity” being, charity begins at home. In other words, the people who are closest to you have the first call on your demands. You’re family has your first call, and then your local community has the next call, and so on and so forth, in that order.
This has also disrupted the Catholic notion of what a parish is, because a parish was defined a geographical unit and often times had an ethnic constituency, and suddenly it seemed to be the case that if some person was not included in your parish, you were guilty of something.
So therefore, the minute they said the word “we”, they were convicted or some sort of crime.
The best instance of this was the Bishop’s Statement on Race of 1958. The agency that was orchestrating this was the Catholic Interracial Council at this point. Father LeFarge is nominally in charge but he’s a very old man at this point, and he’s being replaced by people like Sergeant Shriver who was the up and coming guy, and Dennis Clark of Philadelphia who is probably the main character of my book.
But, the Catholic Bishops are pressured by the Catholic Interracial Council to issue a statement on race based on the segregation situation in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Which had no relationship whatsoever to Catholic life in this country. First of all, it’s a public school and most Catholics go to Catholic schools. Secondly, it’s in an area of the country where there are very few Catholics, so it’s a completely alien thing.
This statement would say things like “the negro is a child of God.”
No Catholic ever disputed that. In terms of polygenism, that had never been a Catholic issue. This was another type of issue.
So what this became was an instrument to club Catholics who did not like social engineering into submission.
After the Folcroft Riot that I mentioned, Dennis Clark persuaded the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to order the Pastor of that parish in Folcroft, to read the Bishop’s statement on Race to the parishioners.
When he stood up there and read that, a large number of parishioners simply got up and walked out of the church because a fundamental right was being denied here in the name of “justice”.
The “fundamental right” was the right of a community to defend itself.
So beginning with that, then followed by the huge publicity which the Civil Rights movement got. Tom Herron has documented this in articles of “Culture Wars”, the Catholic educational establishment would accuse everyone in the class of being a racist.
Because of what? Because they were objecting to these social engineering schemes.
So in effect, what happened was that you destroyed the Catholic community, you destroyed the sense of the parish as the Catholic community, you destroyed the sense of Catholic solidarity and substituted a large sort of amorphous altruism in its place, that was completely utopian.
And you did this at a time when the Catholics were extremely vulnerable, namely the transition of the “triple melting pot”, the third generation, when suddenly it didn’t mean as much to be “Polish” or “Irish” anymore.
In other words, this group of Catholics was coming together, but they were never allowed to say “we have an identity”. In other words, they ceased being Irish and as a result, just felt “well, I lost all identity” rather than saying, now you’re a Catholic ethnic and people have a right to defend their community.
In other words, a smooth transition from the Irish neighborhood into the pan-European Catholic neighborhood of the triple melting pot.
Question: But wouldn’t the current, dominant Catholic view be that all this past ethnic-religious identification was wrong and contrary to the teachings of Christianity?
Dr. Jones: In the instance of Catholic education, I think you would have to say yes. I think that is clearly the view that has replaced itself and the corollary was that “You’re parents are all racist! We have hope for your generation, but your parents are all racist.”
This is the message that was subtly conveyed to students during the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s and a lot of it took. It was this disruption of the ability to transmit Catholic values from one generation to the other, largely because of the disruption of ethnic identity. So I think you’re right, that is precisely the way people began to view themselves.
Question: At the same time of the Second Vatican Council was being implemented, many of these beautiful inner city churches were abandoned and these new ones look like spaceships in the suburbs. These subtle ways the effected the faith of Catholics, as well as the ecumenism, if not syncretism, from some of the things implemented by the Second Vatican Council. But, could you say a little more about the “Psychological Warfare establishment” you mentioned?
Dr. Jones: I would recommend Simpson’s book “The Science of Coercion”. He basically says that around 1938, the Rockefeller family and the foundations they controlled felt that war in Europe was inevitable, they were also interested in promoting getting America involved in that war. We now know that they were involved with the promoting of William Stephenson or “Intrepid”, the British agent who came over here to destroy “America First” and to bring America into the war.
But basically what happened is that there were seminars put on at the University of Chicago which brought together the old team that was associated with C.P.I., the Committee For Public Information under George Creel during World War I, the World War I propaganda ministry. At that point, what they tried to do was implement all of the newest discoveries of behaviorism in the social sciences into the panoply of psychological warfare. So that’s basically what I’m talking about.
John B. Watson was supposed to play a crucial role in this, but by then John B. Watson was pretty much drinking himself to death on his farm in Connecticut. So, they found a new champion in Alfred Kinsey.
The speech I gave at Catholic University quoted Alan Gregg, the head of the Rockefeller Medical Division. When Wardell Pomeroy, Kinsey’s assistant, was drafted, Kinsey panicked, wrote to Allan Gregg, who then wrote a letter to the draft board in which he said “This man’s work is crucial for the control of the civil and military population.”
In other words, the whole Kinsey sex studies were seen as a form of control, that would be used for civilian and military populations. That’s why the Rockefellers were spending their money. So it was a convergence of all of these things that led to the resurrection of psychological warfare.
Question: How did Dewey and the Frankfurt School tie in with Wirth?
Dr. Jones: Dewey is at the very beginning of my book. Albert Barnes was a kind of self-made millionaire from Kensington in Philadelphia who did a solvent that would prevent congenital syphilis. He was a devotee of John Dewey, he would have himself driven up to New York City every week to attend Dewey’s seminars.
In his seminars, were two Protestant ministers, Paul Blanshard and Brand Blanshard. It was the time of World War I and they were concerned about foreign nationals in the country as a “fifth column”, and they were specifically concerned about the Poles.
So Barnes came up with money to provide research and a settlement house for Paul and Brand Blanshard to live in Bridesburg and see if they could Americanize the Poles. They spent the summer of 1918 there and eventually Brand Blanshard went on to write his doctoral dissertation at Harvard about the experience, and he said “No, you can’t”, it’s impossible, they are hopeless. They are priest ridden, the speak a foreign language, the priests tell them how to vote, they were just too tough a nut to crack.
So the interesting thing in doing this research is, this was 1918. Dewey then went on to write a glowing endorsement of Paul Blanshard’s book in 1949 when it comes out. In 1948, the urban renewal map for Philadelphia shows up. The Philadelphia Housing Association, which is a W.A.S.P. organization, comes up with its map for the renewal of Philadelphia.
Well, it’s all the usual neighborhoods. They are going to destroy every single neighborhoods from South Philadelphia up to Temple University, up in that north-south axis. So you say “well that’s the oldest housing in Philadelphia, maybe that’s the reason?”
Then you look off, and then way off over here, there’s another neighborhood that’s going to be destroyed. Well that’s Bridesburg, that’s the Polish neighborhood. Now, it’s not contiguous to these other neighborhoods, it’s way off in the northeast.
In terms of blight, I was there in 1995 and the houses weren’t blighted in 1995. Therefore, they are not going to be blighted in 1948. It was the same housing stock. Now why was that?
Well, you look down the list of the Quaker Housing Committee and guess who’s on the list? Paul Blanshard! I’m there and I’m thinking “Paul Blanshard came back to wreck the neighborhood he couldn’t deal with in 1918?”
But it turns out it was his son. I was at the American Friends Service Committee, no one knew who Paul Blanshard was, but it was his son, and he became a Quaker. So there is this ethnic continuity on the other side as well, as this animus against these neighborhoods. Dewey’s commitment to public education is also expressed clearly in Paul Blanshard’s book. They did not like the school system, they did not like anything about Bridesburg.
Bridesburg resisted successfully, so if we ever want to pursue this, someone should go to Bridesburg and ask what they did. Because as soon as I got the map, I took it to the church and showed the priest, but he didn’t know anything about it. So it might be worth pursuing.
Question: I’ve heard that the percentage of children going to Catholic schools peaked in the 1950s?
Dr. Jones: I think this is a manifestation of the “triple melting pot” because if you look at the Italians for example, they never sent their kids to Catholic schools. Italians in Philadelphia for a time, basically took over their public school systems. During the short window of opportunity when my wife taught there, during the ethnic warfare in southwest Philadelphia, her principal was an Italian, member of the Sons of Italy, a friend of my Italian uncle, so there was a little bit of Italian networking going on there.
Italians never sent their kids to Catholic schools and if they got an Irish pastor, the Irish pastor would invariably denounce them from the pulpit as the worst Catholics on the face of the earth because “look at how much the Irish give to the church and you don’t give anything, you’re spending all this money on your marble floors and your row-houses”.
So I think that as the Irish would marry the Italians, or as the Italians would marry the Germans, and so on and so forth, there was more of a commitment to the Catholic educational system than the purely ethnic neighborhood would have had, So I think that’s consistent. Thank you very much.