Cultural Revolutions

Blood Supply

50,000 Haitian immigrants gathered in the streets of New York the other month, angry at an FDA hint that they consider not giving blood. With the appalling AIDS rate among Haitians, and the ease with which some infected blood can pass the screening tests, it seemed an unobjectionable idea. But not in Manhattan, 1990.

You may think there's no right to poison the American blood supply, but you'd be wrong. State-licensed victims have special rights, and for violating them, the FDA has done penance.

At the Haitian hate-o-rama, one speaker said that since AIDS was a white plot to wipe out blacks, Haitians should "turn it back on white folks," presumably by further polluting the blood supply. Since Haitians take great pride in a revolution whose central act was the massacre of all the white men, women, and children in the country, perhaps the speaker was simply upholding his national tradition.

Such things make it difficult to be a libertarian on immigration these days—until one realizes that many natives behave even worse, and that Haitians aren't typical. There are also the north Asians, whose decent communities, strong families, rooted culture, and economic triumph seem to vindicate the open borders that were the American tradition until 1921. Of course, most other immigrants fall somewhere between these two extremes.

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