Ivan W. Parkins

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About Ivan W. Parkins:

Dr. Parkins is a retired professor of Political Science from Central Michigan University.  He received his PhD from the University of Chicago and is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy.  Dr. Parkins served as a naval officer during WWII aboard the battleship Alabama.  He is a recent widower with three daughters, 3 grand children and 2 great grand children.  Dr. Parkins has written extensively, having authored 3 books and a newspaper opinion column for many years. 

Front Page

In This Issue: Immigration For All!

►Immigration, Race and Partisanship

►Dividing America

Truth, Justice, the American Way…..?

Briefly On the Side

Institutional Bias

  Briefly; On The

Side Comments:

By Ivan W. Parkins



Þ  In June, 1922, my father, traveling as a rehab officer for the old Veterans Bureau, fled Herrin, Illinois, after hearing a little about the brewing trouble. He took the first train back to rented rooms in Centralia, where his wife and infant son (myself) were.  For more on labor violence, see Wikipedia:  Herrin Massacre, and Railway Strike, 1877, especially, at Pittsburg.


Þ How, except by widespread media cooperation, can the Obama Administration be appealing to both Blacks, and the environmentalists who killed millions of African babies with their DDT ban?  It must be the same way that they appeal to Blacks and Hispanics while supporting the teachers’ unions that resist school choice so strenuously. 



Arizona’s New Law has spawned this huge debate.


By Ivan W. Parkins


Nearly everyone agrees that control of our borders and revisions of our immigration policies are long overdue.  In regard to why they have been neglected so long, it is worth a bit of attention to the past half century of party strengths in Congress. 

Democrat Presidents have governed mostly with large Democrat majorities in the Houses of Congress.  In several of those Congresses the Democrat margin of advantage was larger than any enjoyed by a Republican President, ever in our history. Meanwhile, the only recent Republican President to have any majorities in both Houses of Congress was George Bush, and his were very small.


Do Democrats really want to enact solutions to immigration and its attendant racial issues?  Keep in mind that lop-sided ethnic votes have been keys to many Democratic election wins.  Which party would gain most from a more unified American society?


The Democrat Party that kept itself alive in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries by means of lop-sided segregationist white support in the “solid South.”  It

now gets much the same result from lop-sided votes by Blacks and Hispanics.


Since popular election of Presidential Electors became common, three men have won the Presidency twice without a national popular majority either time.  They were Cleveland, Wilson, and Clinton –all Democrats. 


Dividing America

By Ivan W. Parkins


(The following article was originally published in the Daily Times-News, 10/06/1971). You will notice some language usages at the time which were acceptable, but currently are not used due to cultural sensitivities.-Ed.)

             The Kerner Commission on civil disorders in its final report stated that, “Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white – separate and unequal.”  That evaluation has been quoted again and again.  Both the Johnson and the Nixon Administrations have been castigated for a lack of enthusiasm in accepting and implementing the report.

             The implication of the report and the charge bluntly levied by a militant minority of Americans, is that racial bigotry prevailing in the American public and intransigence existing in American institutions makes reductions of our racial tensions unlikely.  I am reminded that when I moved to Michigan, just after the Detroit riots of 1967, the more specific prediction , then popular in the press, was that more and bigger riots would soon follow.  I required one of my classes to write a brief paper discussing the capacity of the American political system to cope with the problem over the next five years.  To my chagrin, I discovered that very few of my own suggestions had been accepted by my students.  Almost unanimously, they echoed predictions of a holocaust borrowed from the news media.

             Arguing against “liberals” that a few riots did not foreshadow a race war was a new role for me.  I had moved from the South, where my arguments were chiefly with segregationists, many of whom cited sporadic violence and threats of violence as a reason why the civil rights movements should be halted.  Neither group seemed to be aware that race relations during much of American history, especially in the late nineteenth century, were more violent than during the recent civil rights movement.  Apparently, few people considered race relations in the perspective of violence which accompanied other great changes, such as the rise of labor unions.

             The violence of the civil rights movement thus far has been moderate, when taken in the perspective of history and considering the magnitude of the change.  Furthermore, there is growing  evidence of progress.  Economic gains, especially for the younger and more educated Negroes, are substantial.  Negro voting, and successes in winning political offices, have multiplied.  It is largely in the more subtle area of white-black attitudes toward one another that some people still claim to find bases for pessimism.

             Several major opinions polls in recent years have produced results suggesting that white attitudes are less bigoted and intransigent, and black expectations more moderate, than some journalists and intellectuals would have us believe.  Recently, the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research, probably the foremost center in attitudinal survey in the world has published confirmation that white and black attitudes are converging. 

             The quiet progress of school busing for integration purposes in most of the South is a visible refutation of the pessimistic evaluations of our people and our institutions.  The failure of most pessimists to support their arguments with solid evidence does not mean that there is no racial problem in America.  Samuel Lubell’s Hidden Crisis in American Politics provides both reasons for concern and some grounds for hope .  Lubell has been interviewing representative Americans in their homes while too many other journalists and academics were populating the country with Archie Bunkers, fictitious characters whose principal virtue is making intellectuals feel smugly superior.  Lubell found, not attitudinal bigotry, but specific problems of competition for housing and job opportunities, and fears for personal safety to be the roots of tension.  He attributed much of this to population mobility (southern farms to northern cities, cities to suburbs).  Such material problems pose difficult problems to American society; they do not imply degeneracy in the American character.

             Senator Fred Harris, himself a member of the Kerner Commission, referred in LOOK magazine (3/18/1969) to racism as “the number one mental health problem in America.”  Considering the failure of attitudinal surveys to support such evaluations, it is fair to inquire whether views such as those of Harris may not be both and impediment to racial understanding and an additional major cause of division in America.

Truth?…. Justice?…

The American Way?…

Or How Disinformation in the Biased Media

Changes Public Perception


A reprint from February of this year


By Ivan W. Parkins


     June 24, 2008, 2pm EDT, I have just seen on the National Geographic Channel (NGC) a particularly interesting, and especially timely, example of disinformation.  It was a carefully selected account of events and proceedings leading to President Clinton’s impeachment and acquittal.  Little, if anything included was false; much that was not included was true and more significant.

    That severe judgment is prompted mainly by my having recently discovered and read David Schippers’ book, SELL OUT , published in 2000.  former Chief Investigative Counsel for the House Judiciary Committee, Schippers did appear in the NGC documentary, but only very briefly.  Originally, he had been reluctant to take the investigative job.  He was, after all, a Democrat, a former head of the FBI’s Organized Crime and Racketeering Unit, under Attorney General Robert Kennedy.  But, Committee Chairman Henry Hyde, an acquaintance, said that was why he wanted Schippers. 

      Of course Schippers’ party links and the fact that he worked satisfactorily with an “extreme right-winger” like Ken Starr did not fit well into a picture of events engineered by a “vast right-wing conspiracy.”

     One incident that Schippers relates in his book has Starr replying to Clinton lawyer David Kendell’s charge that too much information was being leaked to the media… “ Mr. Kendell, the only information that has never leaked was that unavailable to the White House.” (page 151)

     But, the great injustice was not the Lewinsky Case, most of which did become public in lurid detail.  More grave, and clearly related to Clinton’s performance in office were matters such as illegal citizenship grants and campaign gifts from the Chinese.  About those, the White House was able to stall with legal challenges and slow yields of documents until just before the 1996 elections.  Members of Congress, many Republicans along with most Democrats, saw those issues as threats to their reelection, and opposed the whole impeachment process.

    Clinton’s problems would have been much greater if he had had to respond in public to charges that he had demanded quick citizenship for 75,000 person with arrest records, 115,000 with unclassifiable fingerprints, and 61,000 who had filed no fingerprints at all (page 45(This was not included in the impeachment charges referred to the Senate.) But those and the questions about illegal campaign contributions were left to Janet Reno and other Clinton subordinates.

     Of course, Clinton’s great victory over impeachment is now what most casual observers remember.  What Mr. Schippers calls the “flat-out rigged ballgame” (page 7) have never been transformed by our information system into a part of the public’s political memory.

     I am reminded of recent diatribes by candidates about the need for change.  Yes, we do need change, but I am troubled by what changes.

Institutional Bias

Reprint from May , 2008

       By Ivan W. Parkins


Some decades ago, I pointed out to my American Government classes that the text we were using (the one most widely used in American colleges) gave very different treatments to two ex-governors who had recently been nationally prominent.  Otto Kerner, Democrat of Illinois, headed a commission that investigated urban violence and became famous for the statement that: “American is dividing into two nations, one black and one white, separate and unequal.  Kerner was appointed Judge of a U.S. Court of Appeals.  Our text treated Kerner and his work quite favorably.

             Vice President Agnew, Republican, and former Governor of Maryland, had made several public statements very critical of mass media new treatments and of campus demonstrations.  The text treated him much more severely.

             Soon after, both men were charged with corruption felonies committed during the times that they had been governors.  Agnew was forced to resign the Vice Presidency, accepted a plea bargain, and went to prison.  Kerner pled “not guilty” to more than a dozen charges, was convicted of them all, and also went to prison.  Kerner’s was a first for Judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals.

             On matters of race relations there was some room for debate.  Regarding equal treatment for high ranking white officials, the publicity at least, was not equal. 

             How much of recent confusion vis-à-vis racial matters is actually, a product of the same disinformation system that evaluated Kerner and Agnew so differently?  Also, the late Senator Daniel Moynihan noted at the Kerner Commission had delayed publication of its own racial attitudes survey; it did not fit with the Commission’s conclusion.

I.W. Parkins, 5/08