Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Solving the Problems of Race in America

Following the brouhaha over Ron Paul's old newsletters, I want to clarify my position on some points and make some tentative suggestions for improving racial disparities in America.

1.  Races do vary in many ways.  Some of us are better at higher math, some of us are better at sinking three-pointers outside the line.  There is no harm or foul in acknowledging these differences, as long as we understand these are tendencies, not universal laws.  Everyone is an individual and should be judged by his own abilities and attitudes.  Everyone should be allowed to pursue his goals and achieve as much as his talents and ambition will allow.  On the other hand, no one should be given a free pass or supplied with a standing excuse for destructive behavior.

2.  IQ is an important factor in higher SAT scores and academic achievement.  Research shows that blacks, as a group, have the lowest average IQ of all racial groups:  85, compared to 95 for hispanics, 100 for whites and 105 for Asians.  This, more than any other factor, explains the failure of blacks to achieve SAT scores as high as whites or Asians.  It explains the lack of blacks in higher math, physics and other demanding disciplines.  It is no one's fault, it just is.  However, some pertinent observations:
  • By acknowledging this reality, I take no joy or pleasure in it, nor do I wish to use it as an excuse to bring back segregation or to assign an inferior citizenship status to blacks or anyone else, or to engender hostility towards blacks or anyone else.
  • I WISH this IQ business weren't true.  I WISH blacks could enjoy the same level of achievement, productivity, success, prosperity and happiness as any other racial group.  I would be DELIGHTED if someone could find a solution to the problem by sometime tomorrow.  However, reality is something of an ass, as it doesn't care a damn about my preferences...or yours.  It just keeps on being reality.  It's a lot like the IRS, if you want to know the truth.
  • I do not believe that DENIAL will have any bearing on the problem of IQ disparities by race.  I do believe that honest discussion could lead to possible solutions.  Is there any way to improve the IQ of blacks?  If not, is there any way to work around the problem, by offering trade school education to those for whom college is not an option?  How high an IQ is needed for (1) graduating high school, (2) graduating college, (3) becoming a doctor, lawyer, accountant, computer programmer, auto mechanic, fry cook, musician, etc?  The idea is to find the optimum training and employment that will maximize an individual's earning potential and give him or her the best chance for a successful life.  The forceful introduction of individuals into careers for which they are not suited (i.e., affirmative action, racial norming, racial quotas) harms both the unqualified (by setting them up for failure) as well as the qualified persons forcibly replaced (by denying them opportunity).
  • Another training point would be to (1) recognize potential trouble before it happens and (2) take steps to prevent it.  Things to avoid:  drugs, drop-outs, gangs, crime and unwed pregnancy, resisting sudden impulses that lead to trouble.  How people fall into these traps, how to plan your life to avoid them.
  • I believe that we should acknowledge black dysfunction, e.g. fatherless households, illegitimacy, school drop-outs, unemployment, alcoholism and drug use, crime and in general, a really bad attitude.  Next, we should find ways to alleviate this dysfunction, possibly by (1) the shame factor, assigning blame where it belongs, on blacks themselves, for making bad life choices, (2) providing some kind of training or schools that teach civilizational skills, e.g. working cooperatively with others, social skills such as manners, personal space, tact; employment skills such as arriving at work on time, getting out of bed when you'd rather not (per Woody Allen's dictum that "85% of success in life is in just showing up.")  Also, we should stress the importance of delayed gratification, the necessity of patience and persistence while learning the skills one needs to achieve a better life.   What we should NOT do is provide blacks with the ready-made excuse of "white racism" as the source of their problems, since that excuse is neither true nor useful in solving the problem.
Those are my thoughts on the thorny problem of racial stress in America.

Update:  Ron Paul's assertion that "blacks perpetrate crime all out of proportion to their numbers" has again been proven true.  Heather McDonald, writing in the New York Post three days ago, in an article called "The Real Outrage," noted:
Nearly every day, the police experience a reality that is kept assiduously out of public awareness: the overwhelming disproportion in crime. In 2009, for example, blacks, who are 23 percent of the city’s population, committed 80 percent of all shootings, according to reports filed by the victims and witnesses. Whites, who are 35 percent of the population, committed 1.4 percent of all shootings.
 It is time to openly discuss the problem of black crime and to seek solutions.  Self-censorship accomplishes nothing.  It is time to tell the truth.

Update:  Lawrence Auster of View From the Right discussed IQ and cultural influences back in 2008.  That article has a lot of bearing on my post above.  Auster points out a highly pertinent interview with Arthur Jensen, who discussed intelligence testing in a two-part interview in American Renaissance in 1992, here and here.


Old Rebel said...

Race continues to incite passions despite the efforts of government, academia, and Hollywood to declare the issue settled. They demand we pretend everyone's equal despite the embarrassing facts you mention, as well as many other realities that insiste the differences between the races are more than superficial.

Why is this important? Like global warming, equality is a bottomless gold mine for those who seek power over others. If everyone's equal, and test scores stubbornly reflect inequality, OBVIOUSLY there's evil afoot that can only be overcome with more government programs, more bloated bureaucracy, and more taxes to pay for it all.

However, if the word gets out that such programs are hopeless wastes of money and effort, we can begin to put together more sane educational and political policies - policies based on reality instead of an ideology of, for, and by an ambitious ruling elite and its dependent constituencies.

Adrienne said...

I'm surprised people aren't piling on you about this article and calling you a "racist."

I just read some of the comments by Paul that have everyone up in arms. I saw absolutely nothing wrong with what he said and I see nothing wrong with what you've said.

Stogie said...

OR, I do believe that politics plays a large part in the suppression of news and statistics about black crime. The Democrats want to keep the black vote much more than they want to solve the problems of race. So they confine blacks to a lousy life in order to keep them dependent on the Democratic Party. What blacks need most is the tough love of truth and criticism.

Stogie said...


I notice that whenever I post any unpleasant truths about race, people don't generally call me a "racist." What they do instead is to keep as silent as the grave. Most other conservatives don't want to think about or deal with the problem at all. I can see their point.

Telling the nasty truth about race yields a lot of anger, ruined reputations, social ostracism, loss of employment and out and out denial. Think of how many careers have been ended by accidentally saying something unpalatable (even if true) about race. Think of how the Democrats use race as a weapon. There is little reward in dealing with the subject and lots of negatives.

bro said...

My internet explorer web browser never would load your web page today. I used Mozilla Firefox and it loaded in seconds. The liberals are getting to be actively censoring the internet.

Stogie said...

Bro, web browsers are suspect for sure. A couple of weeks ago, My Google Chrome browser just stopped working for no special reason. Other browsers worked fine, though. Now Chrome is working well again. Weird.

The Griper said...

the only gripe i'd have about this post is the use of iq tests as a means to support your conclusions. since the test conclusions are based upon " collective average" it says nothing about individuals.

but it is inappropriately used to judge individuals because people tend to see individuals as an "average" person and they shouldn't. and this is the whole basis behind the concept of racism.

Stogie said...

IQ tests are important for understanding the "why" of racial differences in SAT scores, academic achievement and success in certain professions like math, science and engineering.

Without taking average IQ into account, you can neither accurately diagnose the problems of race nor devise effective solutions.

I disagree that IQ is used unfairly to judge individual members of any racial group, nor do I believe the suppression of IQ variances by racial group do anything to alleviate racism. The suppression of the facts about IQ have often been used to provoke white guilt and justify laws concerning affirmative action, reverse discrimination, racial quotas in universities and hiring and have led to highly disruptive and draconian policies such as school busing.

Futhermore, your statement that I say nothing about judging each person as an individual isn't true. I wrote in the very first paragraph: "There is no harm or foul in acknowledging these differences, as long as we understand these are tendencies, not universal laws. Everyone is an individual and should be judged by his own abilities and attitudes."

Adrienne said...

I've also noticed the "deadly silence" when I say something that is "uncomfortable." Too bad...

Stogie said...

Adrienne, most conservative bloggers are smiley face icons who only want to discuss what's safe and socially acceptable. They have been compromised by left's unspoken speech codes and programmed with the left's slogans and nostrums -- whether they know it or not.

Always On Watch said...

Ron Paul's assertion that "blacks perpetrate crime all out of proportion to their numbers" has again been proven true.

John McWhorter, a black linguist, also acknowledged this fact in his book Losing the Race: Self-Sabotage in Black America.

In my view, IQ isn't the be all and end all. There are different kinds of intelligences. Not along racial lines but rather along the lines of Aspergers has come the recent book Be Different by John Elder Robison. I believe that I've mentioned this book in an earlier comment at this blog.

It is not racist to acknowledge that races and ethnic groups have certain differences from other races and ethnic groups. Stereotypes typically exist for good reason.

most conservative bloggers are smiley face icons who only want to discuss what's safe and socially acceptable...whether they know it or not

True enough.

Frankly, I'm not convinced that all this blogging and typing our fingers to the bone does one damn thing about changing other people's minds. Sure, occasionally -- but it typically takes a crisis such as 9/11 to make Americans open their eyes.

Stogie said...

AOW, the saying "there are different kinds of intelligences" appeared right after the Bell Curve came out. Frankly, I always saw it as a rationalization to discount the reality of IQ. Also, as Dinesh D'Souza pointed out in The End of Racism, modern IQ tests are not culturally biased, and that is not the reason for blacks' low scores.

No, IQ isn't the be-all and end-all for success, but it is a very important factor and cannot be discounted.

I believe that the difference in IQ has something to do with the high crime rate among blacks as well, perhaps an inability to foresee the negative consequences. More study is needed.

I used to believe all the pollyanna B.S. about how all races were equal in all things, and the only differentiating factors resulted from their environment; that if you raised a black child in a rich cultural environment, he or she would do just as well as anyone else. My paradigm was shifted by the O.J. Simpson verdict and the joyous reaction among the great majority of blacks in America. I opened my mind to new possibilities, and was ready to accept unpleasant facts that I had discounted before. Most of those new facts were gleaned from D'Souza's 1995 book.

Funny, D'Souza makes an irrefutable case for racial differences in IQ, but then refuses to accept it at the end of the book, not because the data is erroneous or flawed, but because of what he prefers to believe is true rather than what is apparently true.

Blogging may not change others' minds, but I don't necessarily do it for that. I do it (1) to let off steam, and (2) to explain things to myself by verbalizing my feelings and impressions.

Dedicated_Dad said...

90% of what we ascribe to "race" is rightly caused by CULTURE.

"Black culture" (ie: urban/poor/ghetto/"hip-hop"/etc.) tends to be very accepting and even encouraging of petty (and even SERIOUS) criminality. It tends to actively discourage educational aspirations while ENcouraging dependency.

Even paying ones bills on time and as promised is generally mocked, and chronic irresponsibility considered the norm.

I'm sure we need not even discuss the rampant bastardy that has become the norm - I shudder to think what will happen when the current crop of grandmas and aunts are gone -- who will raise the children when Mom is a worthless junkie and "Dad" is nothing more than a sperm-donor?

This is the fruit of libtard "compassion" as demonstrated by ~50 years of The Welfare State. By every measure save segregation, blacks as a group are exponentially worse off today than they were 50 years ago - but they're told (by the "Professional Blacks" like Sharpton and Jackson) that they're better off because they can sit wherever or drink from whatever fountain they please.

Blacks raised in a middle-class home by educated parents perform as well as whites -- and much higher than those raised on welfare in "da'Hood" by their single-mom.

Likewise, whites raised in poverty by uneducated mothers tend poorly as well.

This leads the libtards to pin the blame on "poverty" -- as if giving them some money would solve the problems. This is typical "cart-before-the-horse thinking...

Is the culture a symptom of the poverty or is the poverty a result of the culture?

Always On Watch said...

All races are not equal in all things. To believe so is foolish and flies in the face of obvious evidence.

I'm not sure that different intelligences is a rationalization. I used to believe that, but then I began working with several students with significant learning differences.

Ever seen the film The Gods Must Be Crazy? I think that the movie highlights the matter of different kinds of IQ.

I believe that the difference in IQ has something to do with the high crime rate among blacks as well, perhaps an inability to foresee the negative consequences. More study is needed.

We agree there. Furthermore, brain anatomy, some aspects of which are likely inherited, may show why I think that most blacks have an inability to foresee consequences.

A few examples as to why I believe the above....My cousin, who was white, had that problem for a brain reason -- a brain injury in the pre-frontal lobes; I've seen the same thing happen to a couple of people who got brain cancer. And, of course, I could cite several examples right here in my house: Mr. AOW's stroke and all that. In other words, changes in brain anatomy can likely teach us some things about biologically-inherited brain traits.

It makes sense to me that different races have different brain development. For example, if the parts of the brain for sports and rhythms are very well endowed on race-based factors, wouldn't it figure that the portions of the brain for other kinds of thinking might be shortchanged?

As for IQ tests, I'm not convinced that they are culturally neutral. Certainly, SAT tests are not!

BTW, my IQ testing results are quite interesting. My verbal IQ is flawless, but my spatial IQ isn't good. Now, why is that? Probably because my parents emphasized verbal IQ so much; also, my eyesight problems, diagnosed when I was about 10 years old and going beyond just the issue of needing glasses, have interfered with my spatial IQ. Let me tell you how bad my spatial IQ is: I can't tell left from right (unless I'm behind the wheel). My maternal grandmother had the exact same problem. Furthermore, just like my maternal grandmother, I cannot memorize anything exactly -- unless rhythms are inserted and/or unless I get the information in auditorially (Visually doesn't work; hence my problems with graphics). Via rhythms, I learned my math facts.

Are my brain peculiarities race-based? I don't know. But they definitely are inherited -- for the most part, anyway.

Stogie said...

Dedicated Dad, yes, culture is VERY important. Black families that stress education, respect for law and elders, and where the dad is an at-home dad who is involved in the lives of his children -- those families do much better than the norm. I think the power of love can overcome many pitfalls and solve many problems.

Stogie said...

AOW, you show a lot of knowledge of this subject and it is an interesting topic.

There are many black people who exceed the norm and many who lead happy and productive lives. I salute them.

As far as having an IQ for higher math, I'd rather be a famous jazz bassist than a professor anyway.

I think we need to study the effects of IQ (and culture) in an open, objective, non-politicized way to find answers. Answers that could lead to more peaceful and productive lives for black people and all people.

Merry Christmas!