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Race/Ethnicity

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An alliance of pro-immigrant Democrats and anti-immigration Republicans could finally fix our broken system
From everything I've heard Swedes seem like very pleasant people, rather agreeable to have around, while my personal experience with Mexicans leads me to a similar conclusion. But suppose so many millions of Swedes poured across the borders into our southern neighbor that within just a few decades Mexico City had become majority Swedish, while... Read More
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Over the last few decades, I doubt that any American political organization has received greater negative attention in our national news and entertainment media than the Ku Klux Klan, or KKK. For example, although white activist David Duke left that group over 35 years ago, the media still often identifies him as one of its... Read More
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When I'm driving, my car radio is invariably tuned to KOIT, the leading "easy listening" station in the San Francisco Bay area. My tastes are humdrum and unsophisticated, so the songs merely provide some pleasant background music, occasionally punctuated by commercial ads, mostly annoying but occasionally amusing. One of the better ones began running only... Read More
I first began collecting and organizing my old print articles early last summer, believing that having them all conveniently available in book form would be useful for my planned Harvard Overseer campaign. Now at very long last the regular hardcover edition of The Myth of American Meritocracy and Other Essays has been delivered from the... Read More
As most readers have probably heard, a few days ago we were notified by Harvard University that the alumni signatures on the nomination petitions we had submitted were sufficient in number, and our "Free Harvard/Fair Harvard" slate of candidates would therefore appear on the forthcoming ballot for the Harvard Board of Overseers. An important public... Read More
As many of you already know, I recently launched the "Free Harvard/Fair Harvard" campaign, aimed at electing a slate of five candidates to the Harvard Board of Overseers on a platform of (1) increasing the transparency of today's opaque and abuse-ridden admissions process and (2) immediately eliminating undergraduate tuition as being unnecessary given the huge... Read More
The letters column of the Sunday New York Times Book Review carried a sharp attack on Nicholas Wade's best-selling new book A Troublesome Inheritance by several individuals, organizers of a denunciatory public statement that they had persuaded some 139 prominent genetic scientists to sign. Although these signatories may be credible experts in their own scientific... Read More
Having been enormously preoccupied with software development work over the last few weeks, I was forced to sacrifice my own writing, but certain important recent developments are overdue for mention. While I was deeply immersed in the intricacies of PHP and CSS, my small webzine marked its first major media success. As many readers may... Read More
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Last week I was invited to speak at the annual conference of the Education Writers Association, with the topic of my panel being the perspective of Asian-Americans on Affirmative Action policies in college admissions. Despite having the only white face among the four presenters, I believe my analysis made a useful contribution. A couple of... Read More
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Although my own academic background is in theoretical physics, I’m the first to admit that field seems in the doldrums these days compared with human evolutionary biology. The greatest physics discoveries of the last couple of years---the Higgs Boson and strong evidence for Cosmological Inflation---merely confirm the well-established beliefs that physicists have had since before... Read More
Last week I noted in a column that the California Republicans in the Education Committee of the State Senate had joined an 8-to-0 vote to repeal Proposition 227 and restore Spanish-almost-only “bilingual education” in our schools. The academic performance of over a million immigrant student had doubled in the four years following the implementation of... Read More
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The unspoken statistical reality of urban crime over the last quarter century.
The noted science fiction writer Philip K. Dick once declared that “Reality is what continues to exist whether you believe in it or not.” Such an observation should be kept in mind when we consider some of the touchier aspects of American society. Recall the notorious case of Daniel Patrick Moynihan, whose 1965 report on... Read More
Last year I published Race, IQ, and Wealth, presenting the overwhelming evidence that group IQs were far more malleable and shaped by social influences than is widely acknowledged in many quarters. The result was a lengthy and ferocious Internet debate, including an overwhelmingly negative and even hostile response to my suggestions, mostly by bloggers who... Read More
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Congress is currently considering bipartisan legislation providing an amnesty for America’s 11 million illegal immigrants, probably combined with extra visas for skilled workers and an agricultural guestworker program. But principled liberals and conservatives should both demand that any immigration reform proposal also include a sharp rise in the federal minimum wage. The reason is simple.... Read More
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Amid the fury over the ex-Heritage staffer's work the question to ask is: was he right?
Amid loud cries of “Witch! Witch! Burn the Witch!” an enraged throng of ideological activists and media pundits late last week besieged the fortress-like DC headquarters of the conservative Heritage Foundation, demanding the person of one Jason Richwine, Ph.D., employed there as a senior policy analyst. The High Lords of Heritage, deeply concerned about any... Read More
For a combination of demographic and ideological reasons few topics in American public life are more explosive than those involving race. Racial factors obviously underlie a wide range of major public policy issues yet are almost always ignored by nearly all participants. However, every now and then a careless statement or uncovered document will suddenly... Read More
The season of college admissions is now upon us, weeks of envelopes fat and thin. With so many teenagers now discovering their future life-prospects as dealt out by our academic gatekeepers, discussions of the selection process are appearing in our media, and some of these include reference to my own Meritocracy article of almost five... Read More
As an individual who often regrets his decades-old defection from the academic community, I was remarkably pleased to see anthropologist Peter Frost very generously discuss my recent China article under the rubric “the Clark-Unz Model.” The senior researcher identified is obviously economist Gregory Clark, whose influential 2007 book A Farewell to Alms had suggested a... Read More
In modern American society, few terms carry the negative and socially disreputable ring of “eugenics,” first coined by Darwin's cousin Francis Galton and later widely advocated by Margaret Sanger, America’s founding mother of birth control and abortion. Denouncing one’s opponents as eugenicists has become a mainstay of political rhetoric across both the Left and Right,... Read More
About the only detailed public criticism of my Meritocracy article by an academic has come from Prof. Janet Mertz, a Wisconsin cancer researcher. Since her analysis draws so heavily upon her own 2008 academic paper on top performing math students, I decided that paper warranted a close examination. The primary focus of her article was... Read More
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A thousand years of meritocracy shaped the Middle Kingdom.
During the three decades following Deng Xiaoping’s 1978 reforms, China achieved the fastest sustained rate of economic growth in human history, with the resulting 40-fold rise in the size of China’s economy leaving it poised to surpass America’s as the largest in the world. A billion ordinary Han Chinese have lifted themselves economically from oxen... Read More
Several years ago, Harvard President Larry Summers spoke at an academic conference on diversity issues, and casually speculated that one of the possible reasons there were relatively few female mathematics professors might be that men were just a bit better at math than women. Although his remarks were private and informal, the massive national scandal... Read More
For reasons best known to himself, Columbia University statistics professor Andrew Gelman has now seen fit to publish his sixth(!) lengthy blogsite column discussing or sharply critiquing my analysis of Ivy League university admissions. Just like most of his previous ones, he seeks to rebut my particular claim that there is a highly suspicious degree... Read More
In publishing a 30,000 word article covering such a broad range of complex and controversial topics, I was certain that my work would necessarily contain at least a few factual errors or omissions. The hundreds of individuals examining my material over the last three months have located several, and being from an academic background, I... Read More
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Have three decades of Supreme Court support for affirmative action been based on fraud?
For almost 35 years, college-admissions decisions in America have been governed by the continuing legacy of University of California v. Bakke, in which a fragmented U.S. Supreme Court struck down the use of racial quotas but affirmed the legitimacy of considering race as one factor among several. The justices are now revisiting these crucial national... Read More
One noticeable disappointment in the ongoing discussion of my Meritocracy article has been the relative lack of critical commentary. Both my previous Hispanic Crime and Race/IQ series had unleashed vast outpouring of harsh attacks, thereby assisting me in sharpening and refining my analysis. But I think that so far the overwhelming majority of the many... Read More
Earlier this week Washington Post Columnist Matt Miller published an excellent piece making the case for a large increase in the federal minimum wage, including arguments drawn from a wide range of prominent business and political figures, as well as mention of my own recent New America article on that issue. Given the importance of... Read More
I just returned from attending a couple of events at Yale University, all in connection with the controversial issues raised by my Meritocracy article. On Tuesday, I participated in a large public debate organized by the Yale Political Union on the somewhat related question of whether Affirmative Action on college admissions should be ended. The... Read More
As all writers know, a good title should be both descriptive and provocative, and both these considerations certainly apply to Russell Nieli's very detailed 2200 word review of my Meritocracy article "Asians as the New Jews, Jews as the New WASPs," recently published on Minding the Campus, a prominent education-oriented webzine affiliated with The Manhattan... Read More
Although my Meritocracy article focused primarily on public policy issues---the admissions systems of our elite academic institutions---it necessarily touched on some scientific ones as well. Therefore, it is quite heartening to see that a detailed 1500 word summary and discussion of the piece has now been published by the Genetic Literary Project, affiliated with George... Read More
As I had previously mentioned, the length and range of topics covered in my Meritocracy package resulted in a wide dispersion of responses, many of which seemed to contain almost no overlap in their discussions. Just as in the fable of the Blind Men and the Elephant, a casual reader might almost assume that the... Read More
Doing so would be just as arbitrary as college admissions at present
Given the enormous length of my Meritocracy package---over 35,000 words including sidebar, endnotes, and appendices---it’s hardly surprising that certain parts have received a great deal of discussion, while others have not. For example, my suggestion that our top universities now operated more as hedge-funds than as educational institutions was widely distributed and discussed, as was... Read More
Late Monday night I received a most remarkable and unexpected Christmas present delivered straight from august offices of the New York Times, as David Brooks, one of America's most prominent center-right journalists, named my recent piece "The Myth of American Meritocracy" as one of the winners of his annual Sidney Awards for outstanding articles of... Read More
The New York Times, America's national newspaper of record, has published a forum debating the existence of Asian-American quotas in the Ivy League. My own contribution, drawn from my recent article The Myth of American Meritocracy, focused on the statistical evidence: Statistics Indicate an Ivy League Asian Quota Ron Unz, The New York Times, December... Read More
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Just as their predecessors of the 1920s always denied the existence of "Jewish quotas," top officials at Harvard, Yale, Princeton and the other Ivy League schools today strongly deny the existence of "Asian quotas." But there exists powerful statistical evidence to the contrary. Each year, American universities provide their racial enrollment data to the National... Read More
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Are elite university admissions based on meritocracy and diversity as claimed?
Just before the Labor Day weekend, a front page New York Times story broke the news of the largest cheating scandal in Harvard University history, in which nearly half the students taking a Government course on the role of Congress had plagiarized or otherwise illegally collaborated on their final exam.[1] Each year, Harvard admits just... Read More
The surprisingly wide national victory of President Barack Obama over his Republican challenger has occasioned quite a lot of political second-guessing, including among the GOP donors who contributed well over one billion dollars in cash to their candidate, only to be crushed on Election Day despite record-high national unemployment. To reverse JFK's famous phrase, it... Read More
With my long sequence of articles and columns on Race/IQ having now apparently wound to a close, I thought I'd provide a full collection of the entire series and accompanying debate for convenient future access, not least for myself. Running almost a dozen separate items across nine weeks and totalling some 23,000 words, the pieces... Read More
Although the vast majority of the angry responses greeting my Race/IQ article focused on a few of the ethnicities I had examined---Irish, Mexicans, Italians---my coverage had actually been quite broad, and I presented a large number of IQ gaps whose existence seemed inexplicible from a strictly genetic perspective. Indeed, the first example I cited was... Read More
Determining American reality is sometimes difficult due to the flaws of government statistics, with the contentious subject of race and crime being a perfect example. The FBI publishes a Uniform Crime Report, providing a vast quantity of public data on crime and arrest statistics, including the recorded race of offenders. Anyone interested in learning the... Read More
Although the claims regarding Irish IQ had unexpectedly attracted so many of the angry attacks on my recent Race/IQ series, it seemed quite obvious to me that this represented merely a stalking-horse for the related question of Mexican IQ. In my original article, I had pointed out that up to the early 1970s, both Mexicans... Read More
One of the many surprises I've encountered when reading the dozens of web pages and many hundreds of comments attacking my Race/IQ analysis is the overwhelming focus of these critics upon my Irish data. Although I discuss similar ethnic IQ evidence regarding the Greeks, Balkan Slavs, Southern Italians, Dutch, Germans, and various other European peoples,... Read More
Given the vast outpouring of agitated and angry remarks by those bloggers and commenters whose long-cherished beliefs have been challenged by my Race/IQ article, it's always very nice to discover a supportive voice, even if I might not necessary agree with absolutely every single point made. For example, Jason Antrosio's popular academic blog "Living Anthropologically"... Read More
Richard Lynn has now produced a lengthy and detailed rebuttal to my article Race, IQ & Wealth questioning his theories, as has Helmuth Nyborg, another leading IQ expert and strong supporter of Lynn. Their analyses have been published or highlighted on several prominent racialist websites, and I am herein providing my own rejoinder. First, I... Read More
As I've often told my friends over the years, the careful investigation of racial and ethnic differences presents huge difficulties in present-day American society. On the one hand, the topic is a very interesting and important one, especially in a society with America's enormous diversity, but the powerful social taboos surrounding such discussions have dissuaded... Read More
If New York is America's finance capital, with Los Angeles filling the same role for entertainment and Silicon Valley for technology, then surely the Boston area constitutes our center of academic and intellectual life, being home to a host of top universities such as Harvard, MIT, BU, Tufts, and many others. Partly for this reason,... Read More
As I have recently mentioned to several people, I had been aware of the large anomalies and logical inconsistences in the Lynn/Vanhanen IQ model for nearly a decade, and had repeatedly pointed them out on various Internet discussion forums. But since nobody ever paid the slightest attention to what I was saying, I finally decided... Read More
The central finding of my recent article "Race, IQ, and Wealth" was a simple one. Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen today rank as perhaps the world's leading academic advocates of the theory that the innate IQ of a given nation is fixed and determines its international success on a host of major economic and social... Read More
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In “Race, IQ, and Wealth,” I examined the pattern of IQ scores for various European peoples as presented by Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen in IQ and the Wealth of Nations and noted the considerable evidence for a large socio-economic influence. In nearly all cases, impoverished, rural populations seemed to exhibit far lower IQ scores... Read More
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What the facts tell us about a taboo subject
At the end of April, Charles Kenny, a former World Bank economist specializing in international development, published a blistering attack in Foreign Policy entitled “Dumb and Dumber,” with the accusatory subtitle “Are development experts becoming racists?” Kenny charged that a growing number of development economists were turning towards genetic and other intrinsic human traits as... Read More
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RonUnz1
About Ron Unz

A theoretical physicist by training, Mr. Unz serves as founder and chairman of UNZ.org, a content-archiving website providing free access to many hundreds of thousands of articles from prominent periodicals of the last hundred and fifty years. From 2007 to 2013, he also served as publisher of The American Conservative, a small opinion magazine, and had previously served as chairman of Wall Street Analytics, Inc., a financial services software company which he founded in New York City in 1987. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Harvard University, Cambridge University, and Stanford University, and is a past first-place winner in the Intel/Westinghouse Science Talent Search. He was born in Los Angeles in 1961.

He has long been deeply interested in public policy issues, and his writings on issues of immigration, race, ethnicity, and social policy have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, The Nation, and numerous other publications.

In 1994, he launched a surprise Republican primary challenge to incumbent Gov. Pete Wilson of California, running on a conservative, pro-immigrant platform against the prevailing political sentiment, and received 34% of the vote. Later that year, he campaigned as a leading opponent of Prop. 187, the anti-immigration initiative, and was a top featured speaker at a 70,000 person pro-immigrant march in Los Angeles, the largest political rally in California history to that date.

In 1997, Mr. Unz began his “English for the Children” initiative campaign to dismantle bilingual education in California. He drafted Prop. 227 and led the campaign to qualify and pass the measure, culminating in a landslide 61% victory in June 1998, effectively eliminating over one-third of America’s bilingual programs. Within less than three years of the new English immersion curriculum, the mean percentile test scores of over a million immigrant students in California rose by an average of 70%. He later organized and led similar initiative campaigns in other states, winning with 63% in the 2000 Arizona vote and a remarkable 68% in the 2002 Massachusetts vote without spending a single dollar on advertising.

After spending most of the 2000s focused on software projects, he has recently become much more active in his public policy writings, most of which had appeared in his own magazine.


Personal Classics
The unspoken statistical reality of urban crime over the last quarter century.
The major media overlooked Communist spies and Madoff’s fraud. What are they missing today?
What Was John McCain's True Wartime Record in Vietnam?
Are elite university admissions based on meritocracy and diversity as claimed?
A simple remedy for income stagnation
What the facts tell us about a taboo subject