by Lavoisier Cornerstone
Ladies and Gentleman of Grow The Heck Up, I'd like to introduce to you, Stephanie Grace, the third-year Harvard Law student who recently came under fire for sending out a mass email emphatically asserting that black people were genetically inferior to white people. While out at dinner with friends one evening, a heated race debate ensued in which Ms. Grace took the position that blacks were genetically inferior and less intelligent than whites. After the dinner, Ms. Grace, wanting to clarify her position, sent out a mass email reaffirming her stance. This email made its way to a member of the Harvard Black Law Student Association (HBLSA), and in turn made its way to the media.
Here is the email in its entirety:
I absolutely do not rule out the possibility that African Americans are, on average, genetically predisposed to be less intelligent.
I could also obviously be convinced that by controlling for the right variables, we would see that they are, in fact, as intelligent as white people under the same circumstances. The fact is, some things are genetic. African Americans tend to have darker skin. Irish people are more likely to have red hair. (Now on to the more controversial:) Women tend to perform less well in math due at least in part to prenatal levels of testosterone, which also account for variations in mathematics performance within genders. This suggests to me that some part of intelligence is genetic, just like identical twins raised apart tend to have very similar IQs and just like I think my babies will be geniuses and beautiful individuals whether I raise them or give them to an orphanage in Nigeria. I don't think it is that controversial of an opinion to say I think it is at least possible that African Americans are less intelligent on a genetic level, and I didn't mean to shy away from that opinion at dinner.
I also don't think that there are no cultural differences or that cultural differences are not likely the most important sources of disparate test scores (statistically, the measurable ones like income do account for some raw differences). I would just like some scientific data to disprove the genetic position, and it is often hard given difficult to quantify cultural aspects. One example (courtesy of Randall Kennedy) is that some people, based on crime statistics, might think African Americans are genetically more likely to be violent, since income and other statistics cannot close the racial gap. In the slavery era, however, the stereotype was of a docile, childlike, African American, and they were, in fact, responsible for very little violence (which was why the handful of rebellions seriously shook white people up). Obviously group wide rates of violence could not fluctuate so dramatically in ten generations if the cause was genetic, and so although there are no quantifiable data currently available to "explain" away the racial discrepancy in violent crimes, it must be some nongenetic cultural shift. Of course, there are pro-genetic counterarguments, but if we assume we can control for all variables in the given time periods, the form of the argument is compelling.
In conclusion, I think it is bad science to disagree with a conclusion in your heart, and then try (unsuccessfully, so far at least) to find data that will confirm what you want to be true. Everyone wants someone to take 100 white infants and 100 African American ones and raise them in Disney utopia and prove once and for all that we are all equal on every dimension, or at least the really important ones like intelligence. I am merely not 100% convinced that this is the case.
Please don't pull a Larry Summers on me,
Hey, I never would have guessed it...she looks like a nice enough girl to me wouldn't ya say? I'm being facetious of course, but that's part of the reason that I posted this piece of news. This woman isn't wearing a white sheet with a pointy hat, and she's not from the backwoods of the South fighting for the right to fly a confederate flag down at the court house. She graduated from Princeton in 2007 with a degree in...Sociology (?), is on the Harvard Law Review, and will soon be headed to California for federal clerkship with Ninth Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski who had to recuse himself because he caught an obscenity case for having...cow...porn...on his personal website? (Alrightythen). I digress.
Oh but she's only one person right GTHU? Sure a few people think like that, but it's not REALLY that prevalent right? Wrong. In October of 2007, world renowned molecular biologist and Nobel Prize James Watson who co-discovered DNA and the double helix structure also asserted a similar belief. The 79-year-old geneticist said he was “inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa” because “all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours - whereas all the testing says not really.". He said he hoped that everyone was equal, but countered that “people who have to deal with black employees find this not true”. This is the guy that discovered that twisty DNA thingy!
See most racists don't think that their racists....they just think that what they believe about other people is the truth. I tell you one thing though, for anyone who's not white, and not a Christian, evolution shouldn't even be something you consider as a possibility. Because according to those that make the science, everything they see tells them that you're inferior. The proof of your value as human being is only found in God,and who he says you are in his word. And for my white brothers and sisters who are Christians, I pray that God would break your heart for racism and those who are greatly hurt by it...not just some Ethiopian kid on a commercial that needs food, but for racism itself. That you would begin to be as outraged and offended by it just as much as any other evil. See, America (and satan) has spent much of its time convincing black people (and other races, but especially the former slaves who built this country) through legislation, media, propaganda, etc., that they are inferior. So while its not an excuse, many of us are just playing out the only role that many in America feel is the only one that we are able to...just ask the Academy, they only seem to only give out Oscars to black people for playing thugs (Denzel Washington in Training Day), whores (Halle Berry in Monsters Ball), and pimps (Three 6 Mafia for It's Hard Out Here For a Pimp). Can you understand to SOME degree why people were so excited about a Black President? Sheesh. And as for homegirl, Ms. Stephanie Grace, she needs to really Grow the Heck Up!
For a related topic, also check out the review on the book: Darwin's Plantation: Evolution's Racist Roots