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From Vox:

Charles Murray is once again peddling junk science about race and IQ

Podcaster and author Sam Harris is the latest to fall for it.

Updated by Eric Turkheimer, Kathryn Paige Harden, and Richard E. Nisbett May 18, 2017, 9:50am EDT

Eric Turkheimer is the Hugh Scott Hamilton Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia. Twitter: @ent3c. Kathryn Paige Harden (@kph3k) is associate professor in the department of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. Richard E. Nisbett is the Theodore M. Newcomb Distinguished University Professor at the University of Michigan.

Charles Murray, the conservative scholar who co-authored The Bell Curve with the late Richard Herrnstein, was recently denied a platform at Middlebury College. Students shouted him down, and one of his hosts was hurt in a scuffle. But Murray recently gained a much larger audience: an extensive interview with best-selling author Sam Harris on his popular Waking Up podcast. That is hardly a niche forum: Waking Up is the fifth-most-downloaded podcast in iTunes’s Science and Medicine category.

Getting worked up over Charles Murray being allowed on a podcast seems a little bizarre. (Here’s the podcast.)

Under the faux indignation and clickbait headline, however, this is about as good an attempt as any to shore up the Conventional Wisdom that the racial differences in average intelligence can’t be influenced by genetics at all. So I’ll go through a chunk of it, adding comments.

Interestingly, the article, when read carefully, is also about how Charles Murray is mostly so much more right than the Conventional Wisdom about IQ. But he’s still a Witch! The article is another one of these attempts to fight back against today’s rampant Science Denialism while not being accused of witchcraft yourself.

Here’s an important question: Do these triple bankshot approaches ever work?

They’re kind of like some prisoner of war being put on TV to denounce the Great Satan while blinking T-O-R-T-U-R-E in Morse Code? But what if nobody back home knows Morse Code anymore?

The basic problem is that the zeitgeist is continually dumbing down. We don’t worry about how to apply objective principles anymore to real world examples of human behavior, we just look for who are the Good Guys and who are the Bad Guys. And how can we tell? Just look at them: the cishet white males are the Bad Guys. What’s so complicated about that?

In this kind of mental atmosphere, will more than three Vox readers come to the end of this carefully coded article and say to themselves: “You know, Charles Murray is still as evil and stupid as I thought, but now I realize that most of what Murray says about IQ is Science and Good!”?

In an episode that runs nearly two and a half hours, Harris, who is best known as the author of The End of Faith, presents Murray as a victim of “a politically correct moral panic” — and goes so far as to say that Murray has no intellectually honest academic critics. Murray’s work on The Bell Curve, Harris insists, merely summarizes the consensus of experts on the subject of intelligence.

The consensus, he says, is that IQ exists; that it is extraordinarily important to life outcomes of all sorts; that it is largely heritable; and that we don’t know of any interventions that can improve the part that is not heritable. The consensus also includes the observation that the IQs of black Americans are lower, on average, than that of whites, and — most contentiously — that this and other differences among racial groups is based at least in part in genetics. …

(In the interview, Murray says he has modified none of his views since the publication of the book, in 1994; if anything, he says, the evidence for his claims has grown stronger. In fact, the field of intelligence has moved far beyond what Murray has been saying for the past 23 years.)

Eh … As I pointed out on the 20th anniversary of The Bell Curve, the world today looks even more like the world Herrnstein and Murray described.

The reality is that there haven’t been all that many revolutionary discoveries since then. The genomic research up through 2016 largely has panned out in the direction Herrnstein and Murray expected, although I’ve been told that a new preprint raises questions about Murray’s guess that the gene variants driving differences between the races are similar to the variants driving differences between individuals. If true, that would suggest that racial differences are in some ways more profound than Murray assumed, which would be ironic.

Turkheimer has gotten a lot of attention for a 2003 paper arguing that in one sample of poor people with lowish IQs, the heritability of IQ was lower than in better off populations, which is interesting but not hugely galvanizing. Emil Kirkegaard in 2016 asked “Did Turkheimer el al (2003) replicate?” I won’t try to adjudicate a question over my head.

But, anyway, the last big scientific finding to raise major questions about the Jensenist view was the Flynn Effect in the 1970s-1980s, which Herrnstein and Murray didn’t exactly ignore: they named it in The Bell Curve.

Murray’s premises, which proceed in declining order of actual broad acceptance by the scientific community, go like this:

1) Intelligence, as measured by IQ tests, is a meaningful construct that describes differences in cognitive ability among humans.

2) Individual differences in intelligence are moderately heritable.

3) Racial groups differ in their mean scores on IQ tests.

4) Discoveries about genetic ancestry have validated commonly used racial groupings.

5) On the basis of points 1 through 4, it is natural to assume that the reasons for racial differences in IQ scores are themselves at least partly genetic.

Until you get to 5, none of the premises is completely incorrect. However, for each of them Murray’s characterization of the evidence is slanted in a direction that leads first to the social policies he endorses, and ultimately to his conclusions about race and IQ. We, and many other scientific psychologists, believe the evidence supports a different view of intelligence, heritability, and race.

We believe there is a fairly wide consensus among behavioral scientists in favor of our views, but there is undeniably a range of opinions in the scientific community. Some well-informed scientists hold views closer to Murray’s than to ours. …

Let’s take Murray’s principles one at a time.

Intelligence is meaningful. This principle comes closest to being universally accepted by scientific psychologists. …

But observing that some people have greater cognitive ability than others is one thing; assuming that this is because of some biologically based, essential inner quality called g that causes them to be smarter, as Murray claims, is another. There is a vibrant ongoing debate about the biological reality of g, but intelligence tests can be meaningful and useful even if an essential inner g doesn’t exist at all.

Indeed. So what is the relevance of g to this debate?

The question of g is fascinating and also quite difficult. But it’s not absolutely relevant to this debate other than that poor Stephen Jay Gould got all hung up on g, fulminating: “The chimerical nature of g is the rotten core of Jensen’s edifice …”

As I’ve pointed out before, for example, Harvard requires applicants to take the SAT or ACT, both of which correlate considerably with IQ. The goal is to supplement the GPA with a measure that gives additional insight into brainpower. Say the g factor doesn’t exist and that there is zero correlation between an SAT math score and an SAT verbal score. Harvard would still favor students who score well on both measures over those who score well on only math or verbal. In the real world, there is a lot of correlation between SAT Math and SAT Verbal scores, just like the g factor theory implies. But, I suspect, we would still be having this IQ and Race debate if there weren’t.

Intelligence is heritable. To say that intelligence is heritable means that, in general, people who are more similar genetically are also more similar in their IQ. Identical twins, who share all their DNA, have more similar IQs than fraternal twins or siblings, who only share half. Half-siblings’ IQs are even less similar than that; cousins, still less.

Heritability is not unique to IQ; in fact, virtually all differences among individual human beings are somewhat heritable. … Heritability is not a special property of certain traits that have turned out to be genetic; it is a description of the human condition, according to which we are born with certain biological realities that play out in complex ways in concert with environmental factors, and are affected by chance events throughout our lives.


This is a pretty funny example of the rhetorical strategy of much of this article. It’s designed to get readers to say to themselves: “That nasty moron Murray thinks the heritability of intelligence is partly genetic, when smart people know it’s really a … description of the human condition!”

An awful lot of this article consists of the three professors agreeing with Murray, but phrasing their endorsement of various Bell Curve assertions in such a way that Vox readers will think it’s actually a crushing takedown of Murray. The whole thing is full of these kind of trick maneuvers.

Do these kind of Secret Decoder Ring articles ever work? Does anybody ever finish the article and say to themselves, “Yes, Charlie Murray is just as evil and stupid as I previously believed, but now I’m aware that 80% of what Murray says about IQ is Science and Good!”

I dunno …

The basic problem is that the zeitgeist is just getting dumber and dumber as the dominant way of thinking gets more childish: Good Guys vs. Bad Guys. (And you determine who are the Good Guys and who are the Bad Guys not by something complicated like what they do, but by something simple: who they are.) So the likelihood of this kind of devious triple bankshot approach actually smartening people up doesn’t seem all that likely. But what do I know?

Today we can also study genes and behavior more directly by analyzing people’s DNA. These methods have given scientists a new way to compute heritability: Studies that measure DNA sequence variation directly have shown that pairs of people who are not relatives, but who are slightly more similar genetically

Such as members of the same race?

Much of the brain fog that besets Vox-level discussions of this question is due to Americans forgetting that race is deeply related to the question of who your relatives are. American intellectuals seldom think in terms of family trees, even though biological genealogy is just about the most absolutely real thing there is in the social realm. The simple reality is that people of one race tend to be more closely related in their family trees to people of the same race than they are to people of other races. But almost nobody notices the relations between race and genealogy in modern American thinking.

, also have more similar IQs than other pairs of people who happen to be more different genetically. These “DNA-based” heritability studies don’t tell you much more than the classical twin studies did, but they put to bed many of the lingering suspicions that twin studies were fundamentally flawed in some way. Like the validity of intelligence testing, the heritability of intelligence is no longer scientifically contentious.

In other words, “the heritability of intelligence is no longer scientifically contentious.” Nor is “the validity of intelligence testing.”

The new DNA-based science has also led to an ironic discovery: Virtually none of the complex human qualities that have been shown to be heritable are associated with a single determinative gene!

It’s almost as if the genetics behind the most complex object in the known universe, the human brain, are also complex.

There are no “genes for” IQ in any but the very weakest sense. Murray’s assertion in the podcast that we are only a few years away from a thorough understanding of IQ at the level of individual genes is scientifically unserious. Modern DNA science has found hundreds of genetic variants that each have a very, very tiny association with intelligence, but even if you add them all together they predict only a small fraction of someone’s IQ score.

And that fraction goes up year by year as larger and larger sample sizes are assembled.

The ability to add together genetic variants to predict an IQ score is a useful tool in the social sciences, but it has not produced a purely biological understanding of why some people have more cognitive ability than others.

Indeed, “it has not produced a purely biological understanding.” But the biological understanding is improving annually.

This is the usual debate over whether a glass is part full or part empty. What we can say is that each year, the glass gets fuller.

Most crucially, heritability, whether low or high, implies nothing about modifiability. The classic example is height, which is strongly heritable (80 to 90 percent), yet the average height of 11-year-old boys in Japan has increased by more than 5 inches in the past 50 years.

True. I write about height a fair amount in part because the effects of nurture on height are so clear. Thus, it’s plausible that the effects of nurture on intelligence probably exist too, even though they are hard to document.

As a non-scientist, I’m more of a nurturist when it comes to IQ than most actual scientists in the field. The scientists emphasize that that the half or so of the influences on IQ that aren’t nature aren’t what we normally think of as nurture, such as having a lot of books in the house growing up. Instead, what gets lumped under nurture appears to be mostly random bad luck that we don’t really understand.

But I’m more cautious on this than most researchers. I’m not convinced that they’ve figured out what drives the Flynn Effect over time, so I’ll hold open the possibility that more traditional nurture may play a considerable role.

But, please note, the Japanese remain one of the shorter nationalities despite a couple of generations of first world living standards. They’ve been surpassed in average height by the South Koreans, for example. The tallest Europeans on average include the wealthy Dutch and the much less wealthy Serbs, Croats, Bosnians, and Albanians. So, height differences among ancestral groups appear to be part nature, part nurture.

A similar historical change is occurring for intelligence: Average IQ scores are increasing across birth cohorts, such that Americans experienced an 18-point gain in average IQ from 1948 to 2002.

Indeed, the Flynn Effect is extremely interesting, as I’ve often pointed out.

And the most decisive and permanent environmental intervention that an individual can experience, adoption from a poor family into a better-off one, is associated with IQ gains of 12 to 18 points. …

There was a small French study of cross-class adoption with a sample size of 38. Despite the tiny sample, I find its finding that nature and nurture are about roughly equally influential (with nature a little stronger) quite plausible. (My general presumption before studying any interesting question is that we’ll end up around fifty-fifty.)

Race differences in average IQ score. People who identify as black or Hispanic in the US and elsewhere on average obtain lower IQ scores than people who identify as white or Asian. That is simply a fact, and stating it plainly offers no support in itself for a biological interpretation of the difference. To what extent is the observed difference in cognitive function a reflection of the myriad ways black people in the US experience historical, social, and economic disadvantage — earning less money, suffering more from chronic disease, dying younger, living in more dangerous and chaotic neighborhoods, attending inferior schools?

Okay, but let’s think about African-American height for a moment, since we were just talking about Japanese height. There’s this guy you may have heard of named LeBron James.

He’s really tall.

In fact, there are a lot of tall, healthy African-Americans currently dominating the NBA playoffs. In terms of height, African-Americans don’t appear to be a malnourished, beaten down population like, say, Guatemalan Indians.

Similarly, the last 72 men to qualify for the finals of the Olympic 100 meter dash, from 1984 through 2016, have been at least half black.

Now you could say, like James Flynn, that contemporary African-American culture is detrimental to the full development of African-American cognitive functioning, that black Americans focus too much on basketball and gangsta rap.

I think that’s highly possible.

But, who exactly is responsible for that? Charles Murray?

This is another triple bankshot approach: if we can just punch Charles Murray enough (metaphorically or literally), then inner city blacks will realize they should stop listening to gangsta rap and instead become patent attorneys. Or something.

… Race and genetic ancestry. First, a too-brief interlude about the biological status of race and genetic ancestry. The topic of whether race is a social or biological construct has been as hotly debated as any topic in the human sciences. The answer, by our lights, isn’t that hard: Human evolutionary history is real; the more recent sorting of people into nations and social groups with some degree of ethnic similarity is real; individual and familial ancestry is real. All of these things are correlated with genetics, but they are also all continuous and dynamic, both geographically and historically.

Our lay concept of race is a social construct that has been laid on top of these vastly more complex biological realities. That is not to say that socially defined race is meaningless or useless. (Modern genomics can do a good job of determining where in Central Europe or Western Africa your ancestors resided.)

And since “modern genomics can do a good job of determining where in Central Europe or Western Africa your ancestors resided,” they can, of course, also do the easier job of determining whether the bulk of your relatives were from Europe or sub-Saharan Africa.

However, a willingness to speak casually about modern racial groupings as simplifications of the ancient and turbulent history of human ancestry should not deceive us into conjuring back into existence 19th-century notions of race — Caucasoid, Negroid, Mongoloid, and all that.

Funny how the Obama Administration spent 8 years heartily enforcing policies based on categories called whites (i.e., Caucasoid), blacks (Negroid), and Asians (Mongoloid) and all that. It’s almost as if the Obama Administration believed that such categories are good enough for government work.

Murray talks about advances in population genetics as if they have validated modern racial groups. In reality, the racial groups used in the US — white, black, Hispanic, Asian — are such a poor proxy for underlying genetic ancestry that no self-respecting statistical geneticist would undertake a study based only on self-identified racial category as a proxy for genetic ancestry measured from DNA.

Okay, but the implication of that argument is 180 degrees backward from what Turkheimer et al are rhetorically implying. Isn’t it obvious that IQ studies that use self-identified race, as most do, are going to find a slightly lower correlation between race and IQ than ideal studies that use actual genetic ancestry?

For example, both Barack and Michelle Obama self-identified on the 2010 Census solely as black, but Barack clearly has a higher IQ than Michelle. The Vox authors in effect complain that studies based on self-identification would lump both together as purely black, ignoring Barack’s substantial white ancestry. That’s a reasonable methodological complaint, but its implications are the reverse of what they imply.

Similarly, there is an obvious correlation in the U.S. among Hispanics between white ancestry and educational attainment that gets blurred if you rely purely on self-identification.

Black Harvard professors Henry Louis Gates and Lani Guinier complained in 2004 that a very large fraction of Harvard’s affirmative action spots for blacks go to applicants, like Barack, with a white parent and/or foreign elite ancestry instead of toward genuine descendants of American slaves, like Michelle. (They sort of dropped the topic after the rise of Barack later that year).

Finally, the relationship between self-identification and racial ancestry has been investigated via DNA a lot recently, and the results are pretty much that, for whites and blacks, the government’s categories for self-identification are good enough for government work. In 23andMe studies, people who self-identify as non-Hispanic whites are overwhelmingly over 90% white by ancestry. People who identify as non-Hispanic African-Americans are largely at least 50% black.

23andme found among their clients, by my calculations:

If the average self-identified black is 73.2% black and the average self-identified white is 0.19% black, then the average black in America is 385 times blacker than the average white. That doesn’t seem very murky to me.

This was all predictable from the workings of the One Drop System.

Some of this will change in newer generations raised under somewhat different rules, but the basic reality discovered by genome studies is that in America, individuals who self-identify as non-Hispanic whites or as non-Hispanic blacks tend to be quite different by ancestry.

Genetic group differences in IQ. On the basis of the above premises, Murray casually concludes that group differences in IQ are genetically based. But what of the actual evidence on the question? Murray makes a rhetorical move that is commonly deployed by people supporting his point of view: They stake out the claim that at least some of the difference between racial groups is genetic, and challenge us to defend the claim that none, absolutely zero, of it is. They know that science is not designed for proving absolute negatives, but we will go this far: There is currently no reason at all to think that any significant portion of the IQ differences among socially defined racial groups is genetic in origin.

“No reason at all” is pretty silly. A much more reasonable suggestion would be that Occam’s Razor currently favors the hypothesis that some of the IQ gap is genetic in origin, but the subject is extremely complicated and it could turn out to be different.

It’s also possible that there is something we don’t understand at present about this dauntingly complex subject that makes a reasonably final answer not possible, a little bit like how Gödel’s incompleteness theorems came as a big surprise to mathematicians and philosophers such as Bertrand Russell.

In any case, we’ll learn a lot more about this subject over the next couple of decades due to the ongoing advances in genomics.

I had dinner last year with a geneticist who informed me that in his laptop in his backpack under the table was data documenting some gene variants that contribute a part of the racial IQ gap. He asked me if I thought he should publish it.

I asked him how close he was to tenure.

Now, if this scientist chooses to publish, Turkheimer et al could still argue that his results aren’t a “significant portion” of The Gap. This question is very, very complex technically, and giant sample sizes are needed. But those will be eventually forthcoming and we will (probably) eventually see.

But, right now, it sure seems like the wind has mostly been blowing for a long, long time in Murray’s direction and there’s not much reason to expect it to suddenly reverse in the future.

Toward the end of the Vox article:

Liberals need not deny that intelligence is a real thing or that IQ tests measure something real about intelligence, that individuals and groups differ in measured IQ, or that individual differences are heritable in complex ways.

But liberals must deny that racial differences in IQ could possibly be heritable in complex ways.

But isn’t the upshot of this article that Charles Murray is more correct than the Conventional Wisdom about 80% of what’s at issue?

Why isn’t this article entitled, for example: “Charles Murray is mostly right and Stephen Jay Gould was mostly wrong”?

And that leads to a meta-point: Instead of liberals attempting to imply, using all their rhetorical skills, that only horrible people like Charles Murray think there is any evidence at all for a genetic influence on differences in average IQs among races, shouldn’t they be spending more time explaining why, if Murray turns out to be right, that wouldn’t be The End of the World? Right now, we get told over and over about how unthinkable and outrageous this quite plausible scientific finding would be and how only bad people, practically Hitlerites, think there is any evidence for it at all.

This conventional wisdom strikes me as imprudent.

Personally, I think, this seemingly horrifying potential scientific discovery ought to be easily endurable, just as the NBA has survived the rise of the popular suspicion that the reasons LeBron James and other blacks make up most of the best basketball players include genetic differences.

I’ve long argued that The Worst that liberals can imagine about the scientific reality isn’t actually so bad. Murray’s world looks an awful lot like the world we live in, which we manage to live in. But I don’t have the rhetorical chops to reassure liberals that life will go on. I’m an official Horrible Extremist.

But that raises the question: Who does have the rhetorical skills to undermine the increasingly hysterical conventional wisdom and package the mature point of view about genetic diversity in the old soft soap that will go over well with Nice People?

Clearly, even Charles Murray doesn’t have the eloquence to reassure liberals.

Fortunately, there is this guy who is obsessed with genetic diversity in sports, having read David Epstein’s HBD-aware The Sports Gene, And he is really good at public speaking to liberals. And he doesn’t have that much else on his plate at the moment: Barack Obama.

So if Mr. Obama ever reads this, let me ask him to think about taking on the public service of deflating the Science Denialist hysteria over race and genetic diversity.

P.S. This article’s junior co-author, Paige Harden, had some more respectful things to say about Murray back in March.

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From Wikipedia:

The Birth of a Nation (2016 film)

The Birth of a Nation is a 2016 American period drama film about Nat Turner, the slave who led a slave rebellion in Southampton County, Virginia in 1831. The film is co-written, co-produced and directed by Nate Parker, in his directorial debut. …

The Birth of a Nation is written, produced, and directed by Nate Parker, who also stars as Nat Turner. Parker wrote the screenplay, which was based on a story by him and Jean McGianni Celestin.[4] Parker learned about Turner from an African-American studies course at the University of Oklahoma. …

The 2016 film uses the same title as “the title of D.W. Griffith’s 1915 KKK propaganda film in a very purposeful way”, said The Hollywood Reporter.[5] Nate Parker said his film had the same title “ironically, but very much by design”.[6] He told the magazine Filmmaker:

Griffith’s film relied heavily on racist propaganda to evoke fear and desperation as a tool to solidify white supremacy as the lifeblood of American sustenance. Not only did this film motivate the massive resurgence of the terror group the Ku Klux Klan and the carnage exacted against people of African descent, it served as the foundation of the film industry we know today. I’ve reclaimed this title and re-purposed it as a tool to challenge racism and white supremacy in America, to inspire a riotous disposition toward any and all injustice in this country (and abroad) and to promote the kind of honest confrontation that will galvanize our society toward healing and sustained systemic change.[7]

The most popular American movie of the Silent Era, “Birth of a Nation,” and the most popular movie of Golden Age Hollywood, “Gone with the Wind,” both involve the Reconstruction Era. Both feature scenes of attempted black-on-white rape and both feature white vigilantes taking revenge.

Today, it’s universally assumed that both movies were presenting a completely fabricated notion that black liberation at the end of the Civil War led to a period of increased black on white rapes. On the other hand, white people much closer in time to the late 1860s didn’t seem to have much trouble believing these movies in 1915 and 1939.

Since then, however, we’ve witnessed two periods of black liberation that were indeed followed by an increase in rape rates: in South Africa in the 1990s and in post Civil Rights America in the later 1960s (as feminist Susan Brownmiller noted). (Most of the victims tended to black women, however.)

So, maybe the original “Birth of a Nation” wasn’t wholly ahistorical?

But nobody who is anybody believes that. Or at least nobody wants to think about that.

So, Parker was the big personal winner in the Hollywood Diversity hoopla of the last year:

The Birth of a Nation premiered in competition at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival on January 25, 2016.[5] Before it screened, the audience gave a standing ovation to the introduction of Nate Parker.[12] After it premiered, Variety said it “received the most enthusiastic standing ovation at this year’s Sundance Film Festival so far”.[13] Following The Birth of a Nation’s Sundance premiere, Fox Searchlight Pictures bought worldwide rights to the film in a $17.5 million deal.

Competing deals also came from The Weinstein Company, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Netflix. Variety said Fox Searchlight’s deal was “the richest in Sundance history”.[14]

But then things got a little more complicated.

It turns out that Parker and Celestin were on the Penn State wrestling team in 1999, and both were arrested and tried for allegedly raping a drunk white coed. Parker was acquitted but his buddy Celestin, the co-author of the film’s story, was convicted for joining in.

Parker transferred to wrestle for the U. of Oklahoma, where he took his fateful African-American Studies course. Celestin’s conviction was overturned on appeal and prosecutors declined to press charges again although the alleged victim wanted to testify again.

The coed eventually committed suicide.

This incident sounds kind of like the recent Vanderbilt football team gang rape scandal. There seems to be a pattern of scandals that start with drunk coeds maybe wanting to have sex with one jock, but then him letting his teammates have their way with her too.

Perhaps this is a team-building exercise, a way to boost esprit d’corps?

Anyway, since jocks are largely recruited to come to college, administrations should be held responsible when their gladiators run amok among the female students.

But college jocks assaulting coeds is one of those issues that neither Republicans nor Democrats are comfortable with. Republican politicians tend to love college sports, especially state flagship university sports.

And both Republicans and Democrats are extremely uncomfortable about scandals that disproportionately involve black rapists. It’s too much like the original “Birth of a Nation” for modern white people to deal with.

The Daily Beast has the full story of the rape scandal:

Inside the Nate Parker Rape Case

The Daily Beast delves into Birth of a Nation filmmaker Nate Parker’s college rape trial—and speaks to the family of the alleged victim, who committed suicide a decade later.


It was no simple wave.

Minutes after bringing down the Sundance Film Festival house with the world premiere of Birth of a Nation, filmmaker Nate Parker invited the “family” of cast and crew (most had tears in their eyes) onstage for helping him land his eight-year opus on the silver screen.
During the Q&A, Parker realized he had missed someone.

“Jean? Where’s Jean? Come here,” he said, waving his right hand that held the mic.

Jean was Jean Celestin—Parker’s former Penn State roommate and wrestling teammate. The bearded, bespectacled man took his place next to Parker and was praised for co-writing and developing the film about Nat Turner’s slave rebellion that is already an Oscar favorite.
They stood there, soaking up the splendor.

But that wave. Celestin had perhaps seen it before.

It was back in August 1999, when Parker allegedly waved Celestin into his bedroom as he was having sex with a Penn State freshman, according to court testimony.

Here are some intriguing Coalition of the Fringes details from the Daily Beast story. First, how the Penn State athletic department handled this situation:

About five weeks after the alleged rape, Celestin and Parker approached two mentors about Jennifer’s supposed pregnancy, according to a written statement Nate Parker submitted to Penn State’s disciplinary board. The wrestlers hoped their life coaches “could give us some advice about Jennifer’s surprise.”

Brian Favors worked at the athletic department and Coach Kerry McCoy had recruited Parker to become a Nittany Lion, later staying on as a volunteer after a new coaching guard led by Troy Sunderland took over the program.

Parker told McCoy that a fling from two months prior had landed the guys in hot water. Parker told his mentor “for some reason she says she doesn’t remember the evening,” according to his statement to the university.

“She knew everything that went on that night,” he told McCoy.

The coach allegedly told Parker to “be very nice to [Jennifer] when she called again,” Parker wrote, and to “try to find out just what she wanted from me.”

McCoy, who is black, suggested that Jennifer, who was white, may have been falsely crying rape because she didn’t want to admit that she’d slept with a black man.

“These things come up from time to time with girls who feel guilty about what they did before, or may even find themselves pregnant with a multiracial child and rejected by their parents,” McCoy said, according to Parker’s statement. …

And, how the Black Students Caucus felt:

The coaches didn’t speak publicly about the rape allegations, but members of Penn State’s Black Student Caucus did.

The case appeared to cause a divide on campus, particularly between women’s-rights activists and Black Student Caucus members.

After Celestin’s conviction, supporters rallied to let him graduate before he was sentenced to jail. The judge tailored his jail term so that Celestin could obtain his political science degree but the move faced protests from victims-rights advocates, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

The uproar led to Penn State expelling Celestin for two years and preventing his graduation, according to the Inquirer.

District Attorney Ray Gricar told the student newspaper, the Daily Collegian, that the case’s outcome had nothing to do with race: “The verdict is solidly based on the law and evidence and that’s all—nothing more than that.”

But some students thought a “contentious racial climate” had contributed to Celestin’s conviction, as one caucus member told Collegian.

“Do you really think a black male of color, who is accused of raping a white female in Centre County, can get a fair trial when a jury of his peers are all white except one female of color? That’s a problem,” the student said.

… After police opened an investigation into the rape allegations, Parker and Celestin allegedly launched an “organized campaign to harass [Jennifer] and make her fear for her safety,” according to a March 2002 federal civil suit, launched by the Women’s Law Project against Penn State on Jennifer’s behalf. The suit argued that college administrators favored the athletes over Jennifer after she brought the rape allegations and failed to protect her from Parker and his friends’ reprisals.

The university settled for $17,500 in December 2002, the Daily Collegian reported. Penn State did not respond to requests for comment on the Parker and Celestin case.

The identity of Parker and Celestin’s accuser was initially confidential—she was unnamed in news stories and listed only as Jane Doe in the federal lawsuit—but, according to the civil case, the wrestlers allegedly hired a private eye who splashed an enlarged photograph of Jennifer around campus so students could supply dirt on her.

The charade exposed Jennifer’s identity, the civil suit claimed, and resulted in her harassment on campus. The wrestlers and their pals allegedly “constantly hurled sexual epithets” at Jennifer while trailing her on campus. They also made harassing phone calls to her dorm, the lawsuit claimed.

So you can see the importance to the reigning Coalition of the Fringes to make up hoaxes about white male rapists, like Duke Lacrosse and Haven Monahan. Without constantly ginning up hatred of the straight white male bad guys as their common denominator, how can the Democrats hold their coalition together?

And Republicans don’t want to wreck their favorite college’s chances in sports by worrying about who their coaches are recruiting onto campus with their daughters.

• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: American Media, Black Crime, Blacks 
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Indoor waterfall at U. of Missouri rec center

A distant relative is in the swimming pool business and raves about the four pools at the state-of-the-art U. of Missouri recreation center. From the university’s website, here’s a description of one of the four pools, the Tiger Grotto:

No matter what time of year, it’s always Spring Break in the Tiger Grotto. The Grotto will transform your dullest day into a vacation, with our resort quality facilities and atmosphere that will unwind you, even with the most stressful of schedules.

The Grotto features a zero-depth pool entry with a high-powered vortex, lazy river and waterfall.

But, it’s still an apparent hellhole for black students. From the NYT:

At University of Missouri, Black Students See a Campus Riven by Race
By JOHN ELIGON NOV. 11, 2015

… Some black students say they are greeted with piercing stares when they walk by white-dominated fraternity and sorority houses. Others mention feeling awkward when other students turn to them in class when discussion turns to black issues. And then there are the tenser moments when white students talk disparagingly about the neighborhoods where many black students come from, whether the South Side of Chicago or the North Side of St. Louis.

Also from the NYT:

Racial Discrimination Protests Ignite at Colleges Across the U.S.

The passion that ousted the heads of the University of Missouri after protests over racial discrimination on campus is spreading to other colleges across the country, turning traditional fall semesters into a period of intense focus on racial misunderstanding and whether activism stifles free speech. …

At Smith, …

“Systematic oppression affects us all,” said Tyahra Angus, a senior, speaking through a megaphone to the group, a mix of minority and white students.

The environs were a far cry from the University of Missouri. Smith’s undergraduate student body is all women and the institution itself is situated in a progressive college town. It is not in the midst of major upheaval.

But the students who gathered on Wednesday spoke of “microaggressions” — tone-deaf slights directed toward minority students — and continuing difficulties of being a student of color on a contemporary college campus, and encouraged their peers to raise awareness of them.

“It’s the microaggressions in classrooms,” Raven Fowlkes-Witten, a junior who organized Wednesday’s demonstration, said in an interview. “It’s students not feeling represented. It’s few faculty members of color,”

As Ms. Fowlkes-Witten addressed the group, she stood under an umbrella held by Donna Lisker, the dean of the college.

“I don’t think I ever want to fall into a false sense of security that things can’t happen here,” Ms. Lisker said in an interview after the demonstration, adding, “Being continually reflective about what you’re doing, and listening — that’s why I went today.”

College students are not rebels these days. They’re doing what the Establishment wants them to do.

I wrote about the “microaggression” thing at Smith College and the like 2.5 years ago in Taki’s Magazine. I think I did a good job in “The Cult of Microaggressions,” but I was worried at the time that I was engaged in overkill: obviously, the word “microaggression” was so inherently comic that the concept couldn’t spread beyond the lesbian fringe.

But as I so often am, I was wrong about what people would think sounds cool.

What’s going on at Mizzou reminds me of my 11-year-old article in The American Conservative entitled “Hate Hoax” about the 2004 hysteria over a fraudulent “hate crime” at Claremont McKenna College:

… The most exciting moment during my exploration came when a Frisbee golf foursome politely waited for me to walk by before playing through.

Perhaps all this genteel serenity explains the psychodramas that a sizable fraction of the staff and students seem compelled to concoct for themselves. Just the month before, a long-festering mass hysteria over white racist student-thugs supposedly infesting the campus had culminated in a huge night rally in which thousands of blackshirted students had chanted their hatred of “hate,” while the administration stood by silently, despite knowing that there had been no hate crime, just a leftist professor’s hoax. …

[President] Gann and the conservative professors fought bitter battles over affirmative action hiring. Gann’s frustration with her rightist holdovers seemed to feed into the growing paranoia at some of the other Claremont colleges, where the staffs nurture an obsession among its “diverse” students (i.e., everybody except non-Hispanic heterosexual gentile white males) to navel-gaze over whether or not they feel “comfortable with the climate.”

It was 72 degrees with a gentle breeze blowing, so the climate seemed okay to me, but a flier on Pitzer bulletin boards made the local idée fixe a little clearer: “Diversity and Campus Climate: You are invited to participate in a discussion about campus climate.” Another advertised: “Queer Dreams and Nightmares: What is it like to be a student at the Claremont Colleges? Student panel discussion addressing the current climate at the 5-Cs, both academically and socially.” This was part of a conference entitled, with that profusion of punctuation that is the secret fraternity handshake of post-modern academics, “[Re]Defining a Queer Space at the Claremont Colleges.”

The university’s main concern appears to be to make students feel “comfortable,” a word that reappears constantly in Claremont publications despite the obvious hopelessness of the project. The only way to make 19-year-olds feel comfortable is to wait 30 years while they sag into their well-padded maturities. Right now, they are teenagers and their surging hormones have far more important emotions for them to feel than comfort. Adults, however, who make careers out of encouraging kids to mold permanently self-pitying identities around their transient social discomforts have much to answer for.

A series of semi-nonexistent “racial incidents,” such as liberal Scripps students advertising a racial sensitivity seminar with posters featuring the N-word, were parlayed by activists into a mood of dread.

Kerri F. Dunn, a 39-year-old academic prole, a visiting professor of social psychology at CMC whose contract was up in June, repeatedly harangued her students about the racists and sexists lurking in the shadows. On March 9th, she gave a fiery speech at a campus event on “Hate Speech Versus Free Speech.” She then walked to her 1992 Honda Civic and returned some time later, claiming she had found it spray-painted with anti-black, anti-female, and anti-Semitic slurs. The Irish-American Dunn pointed the finger at her own students, arguing that only they had heard she was considering converting to Judaism: “How else would they believe I was Jewish unless they were in my class?”

Dunn’s allegation triggered a frenzy of fear and loathing. Although faked hate crimes have become routine in the years since the Tawana Brawley hoax, the college presidents immediately canceled the next day’s classes (costing parents paying the full $37,000 per year list price for 150 days of education about $250 each, or close to two million dollars in total at list price).

At the mass rally the next night, Dunn announced, to rapturous applause: “This was a well planned out act of terrorism. And I don’t believe for one second it was one person. I think that there’s a group here, a small group, but I do believe that there is a group here that perpetuates this in all different kinds of ways.” Dunn’s image of a secret goon squad of marauding junior Straussians was as memorable as it was preposterous, but the administration had already been apprised of the unsurprising truth.

Earlier that day, two eyewitnesses had told the Dean of Students that Professor Dunn had slashed her own tires.

Will we ever learn?

• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Blacks, Political Correctness 
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With the Los Angeles suburb of Compton back in the news due to the hit biopic “Straight Outta Compton” about the 1980s gangsta rap group N.W.A., it’s worth noting that Compton has a pretty interesting real estate history. In the 1950s and 1960s, Compton represented the black version of what Kevin Starr and Benjamin Schwarz call “the California Dream” of pleasant lower middle class life for the masses.

With Ta-Nehisi Coates popularizing the genre of real estate histories, lets look at a less tendentious academic work covering Compton, the U. of California Press book, L.A. City Limits: African American Los Angeles from the Great Depression to the Present by historian Josh Sides, director of the Center for Southern California Studies at Cal State Northridge in the San Fernando Valley.

“Ganton” in Grand Theft Auto

One of Los Angeles’ older independent suburbs, conveniently located a little over halfway from downtown L.A. to the L.A. / Long Beach Harbor, Compton started out pretty much all-white until the courts banned restrictive covenants in 1948.

Compton offered its predominantly blue-collar residents affordable suburban homes in the heart of a thriving industrial area. … During the 1940s, Compton eagerly annexed almost fifteen hundred acres, hoping that added resident and industrial growth would contribute to the city’s already substantial tax base.

Compton was nice enough that two future Presidents lived in Compton in 1949-50: George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.

George W. Bush, Compton, CA 1949

This tax base allowed the city to develop a strong public educational system …

As late as 1948, fewer than fifty African Americans lived in among Compton’s forty-five thousand residents. … Yet during the 1950s, Compton underwent the most profound racial change of any city in Southern California. Responding to the great demand for African American housing outside the ghetto, a new group of tract home developers and real estate brokers found a niche in the unrestricted housing market. … This undeveloped property became a fertile area for the growth of the city’s black population. Davenport builders, a large developer, quickly built unrestricted tract homes on the western edge of Compton. … This was one of the few places in Los Angeles County where blacks could buy new tract housing. … “For once, the Negro did not move into slums; for once he came into good housing.” Indeed, the 1960 census revealed that 93 percent of blacks in Compton lived in homes built since 1940, with more than half residing in homes built since 1950. Compton’s houses were also large: almost 75 percent of black households in Compton had four to five rooms.

Keep in mind that “large” by postwar L.A. County standards is not large by 21st Century national standards. A sizable fraction of the housing in L.A. County was built during the egalitarian decades after Pearl Harbor when the emphasis was on quickly and cheaply providing single family homes for the huge growth in population that got into high gear during the War. These days it’s easy to think that back then they should have known how much the land would eventually be worth and thus build on a more sumptuous scale, as some pre-1929 stock market crash communities like Pasadena and Hancock Park were laid out with ample amenities.

But the emphasis after the extreme overcrowding in SoCal during WWII was on building fast and cheap. This was most vividly conveyed to me by a 1946 Robert A. Heinlein non-sci-fi short story about local Southern California politics called “A Bathroom of Her Own.” In it, an experienced political staffer (i.e., RAH) teams up with a talented female political novice (presumably, the 3rd Mrs. Heinlein) to get her elected on a platform of getting houses built fast for the returning troops. Her motivation is that she’s been bunking with her relatives throughout the War, and now after a half-decade, she wants a bathroom of her own, and thinks others should have some privacy and space too.

My parents bought their first house in 1946, a duplex in Sun Valley near Lockheed. My impression is that they didn’t make any money on their investment when they sold it five years later because the supply of housing was so much larger by 1951 than it had been 1946.

Compton was not part of the Watts’ riot of 1965. Sides continues:

… Despite the persistence of racism in Compton, African Americans truly benefited from their suburban relocation. Indeed, the much vaunted suburban dream of peace comfort came true for the thousands of blue-collar African-Americans who moved ot Compton during the 1950s. When white novelist and journalist Richard Elman visited Compton in the 1960s, he was amazed by this new black suburbia:

… Here, it seems, a man has a chance to find decent housing and educate his children. Here it is possible ot enjoy the great lower middle class dream of private life without feeling as if one were in a private hell.

Furthermore, Elman observed, Compton’s superior racially integrated schools created a much better crop of blacks students that could be found in the ghettos of Watts or South Central: “Compton has become a city which sends its Negro high-school graduates to state colleges, to Berkeley and UCLA, and some even can afford to go as far away as Fisk.” Locally, black families increasingly sent their children to Compton Community College, considered at the time to be one of the state’s best community colleges.

As in West Adams, African Americans in Compton perceived themselves(and were perceived by others) as middle class. Elman noticed that in Compton, “people never tire of telling you: “We’re different here than in Watts.’” And they certainly were. … While unemployment passed 30 percent in Watts, it stood at 8.7 percent in Compton. Compared to Watts, a mcuh higher proportion of men and women in Compton worked as full-time factory operatives. …

For Compton’s residents, the city was far from the ghetto. …

In contrast to the physical deterioration of Watts, Compton’s proud black homeowners had meticulously groomed gardens and, for the most part, well-maintained housing.

• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Blacks, Compton, Race/Crime 
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Like so many incidents — going back at least to the Tawana Brawley hoax of the 1980s — that the national media decide to obsess over as case studies of White Racism in Action, the Ferguson, MO story is turning out to be a fiasco.

Michael Brown strongarming store owner just before Brown’s death

Apparently, the future shooting victim had just looted a convenience store a few minutes before a cop stopped him for walking down the middle of the street blocking traffic. So, probably unknown to the cop, the 6′-4″ 292 pound 18-year-old was feeling pugnacious and guilty and thus, likely, more volatile since he could get in more trouble than for just jaywalking if successfully apprehended. As it says in the King James Bible:

“The wicked flee when no man pursueth.”

Unfortunately, the cop didn’t know what the jaywalker was thinking, which exacerbated a tragically dangerous situation. As St. Louis blogger Countenance points out, we still don’t know what happened in the last three minutes of Michael Brown’s life, but we we do know a lot more about the previous ten.

Have you ever noticed how in election years, some local police blotter item that can be spun as supposedly proving a vast national crisis of white racist violence against innocent blacks seem to become the most important new event of the century for awhile? For example, in 2006 there was the Duke Lacrosse Case, in 2012 12-year old Trayvon Martin was wantonly gunned down by a white man from across the street, and in 2014 there’s Ferguson, MO, a place I have to admit to never having heard of before this month.

It’s almost as if the national media and the Democratic Party naturally work together to try to boost black turnout in November by stoking racial hatred against whites.

What’s particularly striking is what a low batting average America’s liberal elites have in choosing an incident to go to war over. America is a huge country and bad things happen all the time (here’s an incident in which I encouraged a slain teen’s mother to sue law enforcement: a judge eventually awarded the parents $3 million).

So you might think that just by random luck, the national press would manage to light upon a case that doesn’t unravel upon them. But they seldom seem to learn from all their previous travesties. In fact, conspicuously not learning anything is proof of moral and caste superiority.

It’s part of the class war of the High and the Low versus the Middle. In America today, markers of high status include being ostentatiously clueless about the kind of people who loot liquor stores and, indeed, in sacralizing liquor store looters. Thus, the stupider your thinking, the more refined your mind to be.

One telltale sign that it’s an election year is that data redolent of Blacks Behaving Badly gets brought up over and over in the press as simple-minded proof of White Racism. That’s because having a more sophisticated understanding of the implications of the numbers is just evidence that you are a White Racist.

From Reuters:

U.N. experts grill U.S. on racial discrimination
GENEVA Wed Aug 13, 2014

(Reuters) – United Nations experts grilled U.S. officials on Wednesday about what they said was persistent racial discrimination against African-Americans and other minorities in jobs, housing, education and the criminal justice system.

“Stand Your Ground” laws, a controversial self-defense law in some 22 U.S. states, use of force by police against migrants, and FBI racial profiling were also raised by the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD).

The first review of the U.S. record since 2008, which continues on Thursday, happened to follow the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager in Missouri on Saturday and subsequent violent protests.

High levels of gun violence in the United States have a disparate impact on minorities, Noureddine Amir, committee vice chairman, told the talks.

African Americans make up 13 percent of the U.S. population, but 50 percent of homicide victims, he said.

“African American males are reportedly seven times more likely to die by firearm homicide than their white counterparts,” he said.

If you actually want to understand the homicide data, here’s my column on the most recent Obama Administration report of homicide figures.

“I understand that these disparities arise from factors such as subconscious racial bias in shootings, the proliferation of Stand Your Ground laws and the existence of predominantly African American and economically depressed neighborhoods with escalated levels of violence,” he said.

U.S. Ambassador Keith Harper, who led a 30-member delegation, said the multi-racial and multi-ethnic democracy had made “great strides toward eliminating racial discrimination”.

“Thirty years ago, the idea of having an African-American president would not have seemed possible. Today it is a reality,” Harper, a Native American of the Cherokee Nation, told the panel of 18 independent experts.

“While we have made visible progress that is reflected in the leadership of our society, we recognize that we have much left to do.”

… Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teen killed in Miami, Florida by a neighborhood watch volunteer in 2012, said in testimony to the panel on Tuesday that his killer considered Trayvon a threat because of his skin color.

Minorities and youth in particular are unfairly treated by U.S. law enforcement officials and the courts, Amir said.

I think a key to understanding the hidden logic behind the absurdity of the media mindset is that — for careerist purposes — self-humiliation isn’t a bug, it’s a feature.

As I’ve mentioned, self-abasement plays a major role in being welcomed into a respectable role in public discourse. It’s like a fraternity initiation in which you have to walk around campus covered in green feathers for three days: it shows you are willing to make a fool of yourself because you value membership in the club so highly. The difference between humiliating yourself during a fraternity initiation and humiliating yourself to be a participant in national debate, however, is that fraternity initiations end.

This means that it’s difficult for a self-respecting writer to make a non-hand to mouth living in modern America, which is why I turn to you, my readers, four times per year for support.

I want to thank everybody who has contributed during the first two days of 2014′s second quarterly iSteve fundraiser.

I now have seven ways for you to send me money, including Paypal, Bitcoin, and fee-free bank transfers.

First: You can use PayPal (non-tax deductible) by going to the page on my old blog here. PayPal accepts most credit cards. Contributions can be either one-time only, monthly, or annual.


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Fourth: You can use Bitcoin:

I’m using Coinbase as a sort of PayPal for Bitcoins.

The IRS has issued instructions regarding Bitcoins. I’m having Coinbase immediately turn all Bitcoins I receive into U.S. dollars and deposit them in my bank account. At the end of the year, Coinbase will presumably send me a 1099 form for filing my taxes.

Payments are not tax deductible.

Below are links to two Coinbase pages of mine. This first is if you want to enter a U.S. dollar-denominated amount to pay me.

Pay With Bitcoin (denominated in U.S. Dollars)

This second is if you want to enter a Bitcoin-denominated amount. (Remember one Bitcoin is currently worth many U.S. dollars.)

Pay With Bitcoin (denominated in Bitcoins)


Fifth: if you have a Chase bank account (or even other bank accounts), you can transfer money to me (with no fees) via Chase QuickPay (FAQ). Just tell Chase QuickPay to send the money to my ancient AOL email address ( — replace the AT with the usual @). If Chase asks for the name on my account, it’s StevenSailer with an n at the end of Steven. (Non-tax deductible.) There is no 2.9% fee like with PayPal or Google Wallet, so this is good for large contributions.


Sixth: if you have a Wells Fargo bank account, you can transfer money to me (with no fees) via Wells Fargo SurePay. Just tell WF SurePay to send the money to my ancient AOL email address steveslrAT — replace the AT with the usual @). (Non-tax deductible.) There is no 2.9% fee like with PayPal or Google Wallet, so this is good for large contributions.


Seventh: Google Wallet, which I’ll put below the fold:

Seventh: send money via the Paypal-like Google Wallet to my Gmail address (that’s isteveslrATgmail .com — replace the AT with a @). (Non-tax deductible.)

Here’s the Google Wallet FAQ. From it: “You will need to have (or sign up for) Google Wallet to send or receive money. If you have ever purchased anything on Google Play, then you most likely already have a Google Wallet. If you do not yet have a Google Wallet, don’t worry, the process is simple: go to and follow the steps.” You probably already have a Google ID and password, which Google Wallet uses, so signing up Wallet is pretty painless.

You can put money into your Google Wallet Balance from your bank account and send it with no service fee.

Or you can send money via credit card (Visa, MasterCard, AmEx, Discover) with the industry-standard 2.9% fee. (You don’t need to put money into your Google Wallet Balance to do this.)

Google Wallet works from both a website and a smartphone
app (Android and iPhone — the Google Wallet app is currently available only in the U.S., but the Google Wallet website can be used in 160 countries).

Or, once you sign up with Google Wallet, you can simply send money via credit card, bank transfer, or Wallet Balance as an attachment from Google’s free Gmail email service.Here’s how to do it.

(Non-tax deductible.)


• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: American Media, Blacks, Ferguson Shooting 
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Something that everybody in about 1975 knew was inevitable was that African-Americans would expand into a much wider variety of pursuits as greater opportunity became open to them.

But, has that happened? Or are blacks increasingly focused on a handful of black-dominated areas? We’ve had enormous amounts of various kinds of affirmative action — both quotas and additional recruitment and training — aimed at getting blacks into more careers. And yet, they seem to want to move into narrower ruts.

I’m not talking just about, say, theoretical physics, but also about fields like tennis. After Althea Gibson won five Grand Slam singles titles in 1956-1958, and Arthur Ashe won three from 1968-1975, it seemed inevitable that such famous role models would lead to an infusion of numerous blacks into professional tennis. And, yet, … with the exception of the Williams sisters, who are closer to the exception that proves the rule (their strong-willed father pretty much bred them with the goal of physically outdoing white women in tennis), blacks haven’t made much of a mark in tennis since. Half-black Frenchman Yannick Noah won the French Open in 1983, but his son is now a college basketball player at Florida (granted Joakim Noah is around 9 feet tall so it only makes sense for him to play basketball, but still …)

Now, part of what is going on is that tennis today requires more childhood training than in the old days. Most tennis pros of this decade were sent away by their parents to live at tennis academies as adolescents. So, it costs more to raise a tennis star than in Gibson and Ashe’s day, so that works against blacks.

One possibility is that while middle class black adults are reasonably culturally open-minded, black youths are more ethnocentric than before, are more into keepin’ it real and not acting white. For example, I’ve played golf over the years in foursomes with dozens of black guys (and over the last decade I’ve finally started to see black women playing golf), but none that I can recall under age 25. Golf isn’t as youth-dominated as tennis, and you can have a fairly normal upbringing and become a professional golfer, but you still almost always have to start playing as a teenager. That of course is expensive, but you also have to want to be a golfer when you are a teen. I suspect that is much rarer among black teens.

So, are blacks avoiding non-traditional careers? It’s hard to say for sure.

In contrast to tennis, there has been a slow but pretty steady movement of blacks into, say, film directing, including directing films with non-black casts. F. Gary Gray did a good job with “The Italian Job” in 2002, and Antoine Fuqua has directed a number of conventional Hollywood films, like “Shooter” and “King Arthur,” although his best remains “Training Day,” which won Denzel Washington an Oscar.

So, please help me out. Can you think of more non-traditional careers, such as movie directing, in which blacks have been doing better and better? Alternatively, can you think of careers where there aren’t significant IQ barriers to success, such as tennis, but blacks just don’t seem to be choosing to enter?

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: Blacks, Race, Sports 
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It’s often remarked that the commercial environment that the business traveler in America confronts is remarkably uniform: all across this vast land of ours, he’ll find the same rental-car companies at every airport, the same hotel and restaurant chains off every interstate. Moreover, these firms strive to deliver a uniformity of service – every contingency is anticipated in a binder and the response pre-programmed.

In contrast, in certain big cities, typically ones with huge immigrant populations, there are far more unique restaurants, hotels, and shops. This is frequently extolled as a shining benefit of diversity and perhaps it is.

But let me ask a question of all the nice liberals that I haven’t heard mentioned before: As you travel, look at the workers you come into contact with and ask: On the whole, where do African-Americans find employment? In boring old corporate chains or in funky diverse one-of-a-kind establishments?

The answer appears to be titled heavily toward the Amerisuites and Alamo rental cars and Ruby Tuesdays. Just as African-Americans have long done relatively well in the peaceful, clerical side of the U.S. Army, where everything is spelled out in endless detail ahead of time, they tend to thrive better on the job in big chains with cookie-cutter manuals, and bureaucratic hiring procedures.

In contrast, unique urban establishments tend to have fewer blacks working for them relative to the size of the nearby black population. Immigrant owned businesses tend to hire other people, especially relatives, from their immigrant groups and white business owners tend to find they’re more comfortable bossing around immigrants, even black African immigrants, than African-Americans.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: Blacks, Diversity 
Steve Sailer
About Steve Sailer

Steve Sailer is a journalist, movie critic for Taki's Magazine, columnist, and founder of the Human Biodiversity discussion group for top scientists and public intellectuals.

The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.
The evidence is clear — but often ignored
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?