Two questions, methinks, arise from Ferguson’s latest outburst. The first, political, is “Why does the country tolerate it?” The second, more anthropologically interesting, is “Why the eerie incapacity of underclass blacks to understand evidence, or law, or much of anything?” Of the countless explanations given for the poor performance and poor behavior of blacks in the US, one of them dares not speak its name: Low intelligence.
Yet it fits all the evidence. It explains why Africa never built cities, why it did not invent writing, why there was no African Fifth-Century Athens. It explains why Rhodesia, prosperous and an exporter of food when run by whites, fell immediately into hunger and barbarism when whites left. It explains the dysfunction of black societies from Africa to Haiti to Detroit. It explains why blacks invariably score far below whites and Asians on tests of IQ, on the SATs, GREs, on entrance and promotion exams for fire and police departments.
It explains the need for affirmative action and for departments of Black Studies in universities when black students can’t handle real courses. It explains why the gap in academic achievement never closes. It explains the criminality, the violence, the poor impulse control, the dependency on welfare, the unemployment, and the inability to integrate themselves into a high-tech society. It explains the constant scandals involving teachers in black schools giving students the answers on standardized tests.
Further, it explains why none of the programs intended to raise performance of blacks in the schools ever work. Head Start didn’t work. Integrated schools didn’t work, nor segregated schools, nor black schools with white teachers nor black schools with black teachers. Expensive laboratories and free computers didn’t work. Schools run entirely by blacks with very high per-student expenditure (Washington, DC for example) didn’t work. There is no indication that anything at all will ever work. Low intelligence is the obvious explanation. There is precious little counterevidence.
Endless evasions seek to avoid the unavoidable. Tests are biased, all tests without exception. Africa is primitive because of colonialism, or for geographic reasons, or because the natives l iked hunting and gathering. Detroit is largely illiterate because of slavery, or low self-esteem, or institutional racism, which seems to mean undetectable racism. On and on.
If the consequences didn’t affect others, it would be needless, even cruel, to mention cognitive deficits. But they do affect society, very damagingly. They result in the enstuipidation of schools to which the bright go, and cripple the high-end brains upon which the prosperity of the United States depends. They result in Fergusons.
Among people who study intelligence, the racial disparity is not debated. It is evident, accepted. I suspect that it is evident also to many thoughtful liberals who fear the question: If we admit the obvious, what now? And would they be invited to any more cocktail parties of the politically correct?
And so, if psychometrists state the truth publicly, they are shouted down and said to be racists, bigots, and “pseudo-scientists.” They are not. Rather they are highly intelligent and competent statisticians, far more aware than the public of possible sources of error. The achievements of blacks closely fit the predictions that come out of psychometrics.
These scholars are worth reading. Try Social consequences of group differences in cognitive ability, by Linda Gottfredson of the University of Delaware, long but comprehensive. Daniel Seligman is short and clear.
Unfortunately, understanding their writings (should one want to) requires some faint memory of eighth-grade algebra, such as what a curve means, and some mathematics barely beyond arithmetic. This eliminates most of those who dispute the evidence.
A glance at the data reveals that there will be a small number of very smart blacks and a larger number of fairly smart blacks. This we see. They are engineers and programmers. They appear on television as well-educated talking-heads speaking good English. To whites who never see any other blacks, this gives the impression that, since these blacks are like white people, all would be if it weren’t for discrimination. Would that it were so. It isn’t.
What are the implications?
First, we will see a continuation of hostility by blacks toward whites. This often amounts to outright hatred, as seen in the intermittent riots that never cease, and in the frequent, though carefully under-reported, racial attacks on whites. If blacks cannot rise, and it seems they cannot, they will remain angry in perpetuity. Then what?
If you believe the hostiility does not exist, or is not intense, read rap lyrics. Many examples could be adduced. Here is one:
“Niggas in the church say: kill whitey all night long … the white man is the devil … the CRIPS and Bloods are soldiers I’m recruiting with no dispute; drive-by shooting on this white genetic mutant … let’s go and kill some rednecks … Menace Clan ain’t afraid … I got the .380; the homies think I’m crazy because I shot a white baby; I said; I said; I said: kill whitey all night long … a nigga dumping on your white ass; fuck this rap shit, nigga, I’m gonna blast … I beat a white boy to the motherfucking ground….””
(“Kill Whitey”; Menace Clan, Da Hood, 1995, Rap-A-Lot Records, Noo Trybe Records, subsidiaries of what was called Thorn EMI and now is called The EMI Group, United Kingdom.)
Second, things will get—are getting—worse. First-world countries are brain-intensive. Automation eats rapidly away at the low-end jobs for which blacks are usually qualified. So do Mexicans. In a technological society, people at the bottom at some point become economically unnecessary, unemployable for anything at any wage. This happens now to blacks, and soon will to unintelligent whites. The unnecessary will need, do need, to be kept in custodial care, however disguised. The alternative is starvation.
Third, serious conflict is likely between blacks and Hispanics. There is no love between the two. Today when Latinos move into a neighborhood, they tend to drive blacks out. They are brighter and work harder. For the moment blacks hold the political upper-hand, but Latinos grow in number and in their proportion of voters. A train-wreck is on the way.
Fourth, the danger will grow of serious conflict between whites and blacks. I suspect that even now only heavy federal pressure and dissimulation by the media keep the cork in the bottle. Among whites a large proportion loathe affirmative action, degraded educational standards, toleration of crime, and compulsory integration.
As the economy declines and jobs become scarcer, the likelihood grows that jobless whites will rebel against racial preferences. The hidden rock in the current is that if affirmative action were eliminated, blacks would almost disappear except in sports and entertainment. There will be hell to pay, though in what currency is not clear.
What in god’s name to do?
Arguably the best we can do is to continue as now, regard affirmative action as a tax on efficiency, tolerate the racial attacks as preferable to the riots that would follow on not tolerating them, and clean up after the riots that happen anyway. Temporize, hold the lid on, and let other people worry about it later. This is certainly the course that the feds and the major media will advocate. The question is whether they can make it stick.
Another approach, conceivable but barely so, is quietly to institute segregation in the more combustible areas of society. One of these is law-enforcement. If none but black policemen worked in black regions, fewer cities would burn. The schools are another sensitive spot. If segregated schools were allowed, and blacks given more money per student than whites to avoid complaints about unequal resources, each race could teach its young, or not teach them, as it saw fit. Finally, letting people live where they like would reduce friction. These measures, though stop-gaps, might work, for a while.
The third—“solution” isn’t exactly the word, but maybe “possibility” fits—is carefully called “civil unrest” when what is meant is “race war.” Black extremists have often called for it, thoughtful blacks have worried about it, and a lot of whites think “bring it on.” (Read Black Mobs and the Coming Race War, a column by Thomas Sowell. Also The Coming Race War in America, a bookd by the (deceased) black columnist Carl Rowan.)
The big media outlets have little idea of what is going on. Their reporters live in a bubble of political correctness, policing each other stringently, and have little contact with the black underclass or with America outside the Beltway. Books (e.g. Face to Face with Race) detail the underclass, but few read them.)
Such a race “war” would be a spontaneous and simultaneous, though uncoordinated, burning of many cities. Blacks would quickly lose. Whites are much more numerous, food comes not from Safeway but from remote farms belonging to whites, welfare checks do not materialize magically in post-offfice boxes, and so on. The danger is that blacks, accustomed to intimidating whites, may push too far and find that they have made a very serious mistake.
Afterward, what? Blacks as Palestinians and whites as Israelis? The country would never recover.